Thursday, May 21, 2009

Elisha's Perfect Drug

My sister has yelled at me for not blogging. She is compelling me to blog, as if my silly drivel were her addiction. Yes ma'am. Only problem is that at the moment I can’t think of squat. Well, other than the fact that my sister Elisha and her beautiful son Hunter better be coming to visit me in August or I’m going to raise hell.

And YES I use beautiful for little boys. Little boys are beautiful. In my mind they are also allowed to have dolls, take dance and host tea parties. I’m wacky like that. It may be why my son would rather put on costumes and do shows and dance parties then play with matchbox cars or wrestle. But I doubt that. He likes those things because he’s rather imaginative and they are more fun. No one was ever turned gay by a tea set. And if by chance some day my boy tells me he’s gay I won’t blame it on his first baby doll. I have to admit I would cry though. Not because I think gay is wrong or that he should be ashamed. I’d be signing up for PFLAG the next damn day. But because there is so much hate for gays in the world and you don’t ever want to think of your child having to face hate. I don’t want to think about anyone’s child facing hate. And I don’t want my child harboring hate either. The human inclination to alienate the different and create an us against them mentality is so strong and disturbing. (It’s why I hate sports.) Recently I was asking him about some neighborhood kids he’d played with for the first time and he reluctantly said he didn’t like one of the boys very much. I had suspected as much and thought it was because the boy was a tad aggressive. But when I asked Noah why he told me it was because the boy’s hair was weird. I got really upset and lectured him up and down about how insignificant hair was and asking him if he thought that would be a good reason for another kid not wanting to play with him. On and on about how people are different and it is those differences that make us so special. I could see his eyes glaze over and changed the subject. But now I can’t get that out of my head – my sweet little boy didn’t like someone because of their hair. Mortifying.

Hmmm. So there. I blogged. I’m sure Elisha wanted some fun tales of crazy kid escapades. At the moment I can barely remember the day. The immediacy of Twitter is easier for me to document the little stuff. Hmmm… Today Ray started mimicking one of Noah’s favorite catch phrases - “What in the world?” Course from Ray it comes out “Waaa in Wurrrll?” It’s hysterical. As Ray often is. Both boys have been funny recently when they have been pretending to be pregnant – shoving stuffed animals up their shirts with Noah talking about his water breaking and his contractions. Noah actually has his baby and begins to care for it but Ray just wants to keep it in his shirt. Smart boy. Yesterday Noah was asking me to explain the concept of “the future” (Thankfully he’s not been watching LOST) and I was saying something coming soon like Daddy coming home for dinner could be the future or it could be farther away like when Noah has children of his own. Noah said he couldn’t have children, that was only for girls. I explained that though girls give birth to children that the Daddy’s still have children. That he and Ray are Daddy’s children. And Noah cocked his head to the size, chuckled, broke into a bemused grin and said “Oh! I never thought of it that way before.” I guess he thought Mark was just some guy who lived here.

There, Lisey, is that everything you were hoping for?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Then comes Noah in a baby carriage

I met Yvonne three summers ago at a mutual neighborhood friend’s playdate. Her daughter Maia was a few months older than Noah and they were both shy of two years old. When I started taking Noah to a playgroup in Fishtown I told Yvonne how much we were enjoying it and soon she was coming with Maia. And a year later when I decided it was time to put Noah in preschool and Yvonne and I settled on the same place I was thrilled that he would have a friend in his class. And now after two years of being in the same program, numerous playdates, art groups and field trips the two are beyond inseparable. She is his best friend. And I love to watch the two of them together. They never fight. They are almost always play acting a story – if she’s leading it’s about rescuing an animal and if he’s leading it’s about being spies. They tell each other jokes, things that aren’t remotely funny, and they laugh and laugh. And then they repeat the joke 10 times. And laugh.

Today I took Ray, Noah and Maia to Member’s Preview Night at Sesame Place. The weather forecast was looking grim with showers and thunder and greyness. And I initially tried to cancel. But Noah wanted to go SO bad. Not because of him, he understood that we had memberships and he could go on another day, but today he could bring a friend and without even hesitating he said he wanted to bring Maia. So it was really about sharing Sesame Place with Maia. He’d been talking about what rides she might like to go on and planning out their trip. When he was sick earlier in the week he kept counting down until Friday, so worried his illness would prevent us from going. So I decided to suck it up and go even though it was going to rain. Hell, maybe we’d get lucky. Well it RAINED. And it POURED. But before it got so bad we had to leave they went on a couple of rides (they made Ray and I sick), saw the character parade, saw a show and tested a sprinkler area before deciding it was too cold and time to walk to the car in the pissing down rain. But what I will remember most about our trip is how Noah is with Maia. He didn’t want to do anything she didn’t. He held her hand as we walked through the park, the both of them being so well behaved and manageable. When we sat down for a snack he had a sad look on his face and I asked what was wrong and he leaned into me and whispered “It’s a secret. Maia sat on my hand.” I could tell that it really hurt but he knew it was an accident so he didn’t want to mention it and upset her. When I put them in the back of the van and started to dress them in dry clothes the two of them wrapped up so close in the towel and kept giggling about how they were stuck together. And when I finished dressing Ray and they were next Noah told me Maia was the guest so she should be able to be dressed next. When Chickfila gave us two different Happy Meal toys he let her have the good one with the promise they could play with it together when he visited next. And they jumped around, joked and laughed while we ate huddled in the minivan in the parking lot – like it was the best time ever. Noah really loves her and I don’t say that in a corny, romantic way. I say that meaning that is friendship at it’s core, at it’s simplest and best. It makes me proud that he can love like that. That he can be that thoughtful at 4.

In the Fall Maia starts full time Pre K at a Philadelphia Charter school and Noah will be going to YCCA for three 6 hour days. It makes me really sad to separate them. This summer we’ll spend lots of time with her and her family and hopefully other summers too. And after the school year starts we’ll still have occasional play dates and meet ups at the park or the museums. But they will probably never be this close again. It’s sad. Is it weird I have been thinking about this for a few weeks now? It just says so much about life – all the powerful bonds we forge with people who make real impacts on our lives and yet most fade away. Of course they’ll always have Facebook…