limbo lower now


This is an odd stretch of time for me, a limbo of sorts between the end of school and the beginning of summer school for Amy. It's been many months since it was just the two of us hanging out all day. To share that kind of time is a delightful gift and I can appreciate the hell out of it.

But don't try to write the Great American Novel at the same time.

Or even watch a movie. Let me qualify that... I mean a movie that doesn't have singing fish or dancing pigs or cartoon cats in it.

And forget about reading a book -- at least one about grown-ups who do grown-up things. I'm sorry I can't be more specific about that, but my memory of what grown-up things consist of is foggy, though I seem to recall there's kissing and envy and mortgages and brassieres.

If you know anything about me you know that I dwell at the pinnacle of the parenting experience, staying at home full-time to help raise a daughter and, now that she's of school age, dividing my day between my duties as a father and my need to remain a sane adult.

Like just now... she came in here to show me that cool trick where you get a cup and you put your mouth inside the opening and then you suck in and it sticks to your face and it makes your lips get real fat. You can even yell real loud and it sounds like a little man stuck in a box somewhere.

Yeah yeah, it's cute as all get out, but the cumulative effect of these sessions of daddybrainus interruptus is to give me a twitch in my left eyelid.

The answer, of course, is to commit fully to simply hanging out, but this is easier said than done. A child's mind is a curious one, and it can be fun to follow a serendipitous path through life as it comes, but after ten or fifteen minutes of looking for faces in the clouds, I have a tendency to either nod off or start seeing the faces of evil old girlfriends in those clouds, whereupon I'll launch into a tirade about any number of inequities and hurts foisted upon me by these whores of Babylon and it's at this point that Amy has left and gone into her room and it's not to look up Babylon in the encyclopedia.

To paraphrase Vonnegut, hooking up your brain to a six-year-old for twelve hours a day is like pouring honey into a fine Swiss watch.

And yet, despite all the goo, I can still hear the ticking. Time moves on, playing its wicked scherzo as background to those irretrievable moments that pass in the blink of an eye. I am grateful and lucky to be able to know this. It's an awareness that cools the frustration sizzling inside me when, for the 342nd time, I put those ugly little shoes on Barbie.

Sometimes it just makes me wanna stick my whole mouth into a cup and scream.


Today's Music:

"Blanket For A Sail" -- Harry Nilsson-- FOR OUR CHILDREN: To benefit the Pediatric AIDS Foundation


Wisdom of the Day:

"What is honored in a country will be cultivated there."

-- Plato