“Will you watch me play?” he asks. I don’t want to.
In fact, I can think of 1,001 things I’d rather do than watch my not-so-little little boy play Legends of Zelda on his WiiU.
I look up, ready to tell him “No.”
To explain that I’m working, that watching somebody else play a video game is boring because what’s the point in that?
Then, I remember that I want him to love the Broncos, which is also watching somebody else play a game. And there’s a point in that. In cheering for others, in cheering for a team that we are not a part of. Maybe, me watching him play a video game in 2017 is like watching football from a TV or a stadium from then or now.
I think about this, and the light in the room turns yellowish; the ticking of an invisible clock is clear.
I hear time in a way I haven’t heard it before. Time is marching. I can hear time marching.
For whom the bell tolls
Time marches on
For whom the bell tolls (Metallica)
I hear those lyrics (and time marching) for three heartbeats maybe, “Time. Marches. On.”
It feels like years. It has been years.
Years of Augusts flash in my mind, as if the bell had tolled for me the way that movies and books say that your life flashes through you.
I remember the night before turning six, standing on the porch of my childhood home, thinking “I’m a big kid now.” How I felt sad, and proud, and like my life had new purpose, as a big kid.
I remember when my son turned six, in the month before August. When he turned five, and I knew that special needs parenting was better than sea monkeys.
I remember the first August my brothers and I lived with my dad without our mom living there, too. How it was time to learn to cook. How I rebelled against cooking, for years. “I won’t cook! It’s just because I’m a girl,” I thought.
This August, I take pride in making meals for my family. For feeding my son, who was *this close* to a failure to thrive diagnosis once upon an August.
This August, I flew back to my now-home, after visiting my childhood home to attend a memorial service for my ex-husband. He died in his sleep, and was 19 months younger than I.
August is my birth month, and the one when she who carried me gave me away, and the month that my real parents carried me home.
August is when I turned 41, not even two months after riding in the back seat of the car with my newborn, wondering “What do we do now?” as my husband drove.
It’d be years before I rode in the front seat, next to my husband again. As if my hand on my baby’s head would protect this tiny human from sleepy semi-drivers, the day drunk, or the mom in a hurry who sped through a late-yellow light.
A few days ago, we went to a Lego Brick fair. I kind of can’t believe that this long-haired little boy (who is not so little) is of me, and I marvel at how he is of himself.
August, and each of the months, is filled with birth and death, and wondering whether we’re old enough for the bell to toll for us. Hoping for more days while sometimes, wishing away the minutes and hours spent doing the mundane. It’s the filling of water glasses with late-night pleas of “I’m thirsty.”
August is the realization that each of us is always old enough to die. August is time, the anticipation of sharpened pencils and crispy leaves once the new school year comes.
It’s hope and a new start.
It’s grief, and loss, at the same time.
It’s August. “Will You Watch Me Play?”
It’s August, and I wonder about the yellow light and how my no-longer-a-baby baby will begin third grade in just a few weeks.
Are we ready for this?
There was a little boy at the pool, today. He was maybe two, pointing at airplanes and helicopters of all things. I missed my now boy when he was still my then boy, and thought about how he graduated Preschool Autism Class, and how we found grace in kindergarten.
I ached for my two-year-old son as he swam in the pool at the age of eight.
I missed him with all of myself, but remember how also, I used to count the hours down from 11:00 am, not knowing what to do for the rest of the day, after exhausting the playground, meals, and walks.
But also, yes. We’re ready. We have zero school supplies as of today, but that’s fairly easily remedied.
In the meantime, I’ll watch him play Legends of Zelda, although I do not understand the game.
“What’s the best part of Legends of Zelda?” I ask.
“Mom,” he says, “There’s just so much to explore.”
And I look at this not-so-little little boy, and think about how much more there is to explore with him, with his future, his language, his himness.
“Who will you become?” I think, but don’t ask.
“Show me,” I say, and shut my laptop, knowing that who he will become may depend on this. Or, not.
Either way, who will I become does depend on this. I watch him play, and I learn about him, myself, and all of the Augusts.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, and this week’s sentence is “It’s August, and I can’t believe…”