This feels like the longest Monday. There wasn’t a lot of good in the day. It could have been worse, of course. Always.
My son’s school work made me cry tonight. Just reading his little notes and how he is trying to spell things. It’s so goddamned precious, and such a brief, brief time in his life. When he’s still so little, my little boy, and needs me. And spells “square” like “scwear” and “giant” like “jieyinte.”
I never thought I’d be here, looking at this work. Sometimes I feel like: WEE TAEK YOU THAIR. YU SHOOT ITT. (That’s a reference for my readers who are Ray Bradbury fans). But it really happened and he’s really here, lightning fast bones in a red blur as he races back and forth in this too-small apartment.
He insisted on taking that Big Wheel out again tonight as soon as we got home, even though we only had a few minutes before it was going to start pouring. “I don’t care!” he said. “I don’t care if it rains!” And he really didn’t. And if it wasn’t a school night, and if I didn’t work and had already had dinner ready to go, and if there wasn’t TWO FUCKING HUGE PACKETS OF HOMEWORK for this kid to complete in four days, if if if. I still would have made him come in from out of the rain, but I would have let him decide when it was time, instead of me, always rushing him. C’mon D, brush your teeth. C’mon, haven’t you made your bed yet? C’mon, we’re gonna be late for school. C’mon, you’re dawdling over dinner and we have to get started on all the homework. I fucking hate having to rush him through the precious little time we have together on weekdays, but I have no choice. I can’t tell Visa, Mastercard, and the hospital billing departments that I need quality time with my kid so I’m quitting my job. He’s getting closer to getting the pedals right, but it’s pretty challenging for him. He can run a whole football field but doesn’t have the complex motor to get the pedals around if there’s any sort of gradient to ascend. He’ll get it. And then we’ll have to work on steering, which he doesn’t get at all.
I see lots of judgmental parenting posts of late on social media. Why did you or didn’t you do this. I can’t believe so and so did this, that or the other. I can’t believe you let your kid do X, or don’t let your kid do X, I can’t believe you spent money on A when you don’t have money for B. Or whatever. Everyone is different. Most of us are doing the very best we can, which is all we can do. IDK what the mother was thinking who held up her toddler at the cheetah exhibit at the zoo, it seems beyond stupid to most outsiders, but then again, so, to me, does letting kids play unsupervised in a busy parking lot, and that happens every night here. 30 years ago, it would have been normal. Times change. Everyone is in your business now, and they know your business because you post about it. Oh, you guys don’t go to church? You don’t pray? Or take him to baseball games? He doesn’t play soccer? You don’t eat fast food? You’re never going to Disneyland? Who the fuck cares. Every person is not a cookie cutter version of every other person, and I am raising my son to be his own person as best I can. It can be a hard road, trying to keep up with the Joneses your whole life. Being different can be hard in another way, but I think it builds character and makes you interesting.
It poured, a big, green-smelling spring rain. I am wrestling once again with paperwork and planning details and it makes me feel like I’m choking. Court papers, planning details for the kid’s birthday party next month, all of the obligations coming up for summer camp. I went out for a run at lunch today, even though I said I wasn’t going to, even though I ate first, which is bad, and even though I ran 6 miles yesterday. I wouldn’t say it was a mistake, but it didn’t do for me what runs generally do for me, which is make me feel better. My R ankle is still singing an angry song after the tag-playing incident a couple weeks ago, and my lungs are NOT very happy about the sudden jump in humidity (though the rest of me is; I like it quite hot).
And more stories about problems with planes, and now earthquakes in LA, only a few days before I leave to go there. I am uneasy and dissatisfied. Impatient and yet want each moment in time with my son to stop, so I can hold on and look at it forever. I hope he forgives me for pushing. This day crawled. But the time is flying.