Perhaps it is just because I am currently raising my kids in the same area in which I grew up, but I can't seem to simply live in the moment as the boys and I go about our daily activities. It is one eye on the past of my own childhood and the other eye on my funeral. It is a bit ridiculous.
We spent most of our day today at Tuckahoe, a place that, if sentimentality were the sole guide for selecting a wedding reception site, would have been the location of my wedding reception. We splashed around in the baby pool and then spent some time up on the hill, where Andrew climbed on the jungle gym and I fought back tears at the memory of last summer on that same gym when A was still a baby, and then the memories of 25 years ago on the little putt-putt course just behind us.
Andrew incorporated these imaginary phone calls to his dad in his little routine on the jungle gym. It was really sweet. He and his daddy have gotten so close recently. Will still can't stand the man, but at least I know that should probably change with time.
We then went to Carey's house where Andrew disappeared into the basement and backyard with the kids. He loves his little friends and being at their home. Carey and I left Andrew with Paul and the girls and went to check out some neighborhoods nearby. Andrew could not have been less interested in my leaving.
Just before we were to leave, Andrew and Piper had an accident on the slide (Andrew slid right down and smacked his nose on Piper's head.) I thought it had to be broken, there was so much blood. But my recipe for calming injured children did the trick (tv plus a treat) and I was able to haul him out of there pretty quickly.
He was so funny about the issue of blood. Here are some of the things he had to say about it:
At Carey's house as we left: "Don't look at myself and my blood!"
Arriving at my parents' house, where we were to meet Brig: "I don't want to get out! I don't want Daddy to see my blood!"
On the driveway to the house: "Don't talk about it. I don't have shoes. It's not fair."
He acted ashamed every time anyone mentioned the accident or his injury. So we cut it out. After a bath that turned the water a rust color, he was good as before and in a happy and energized mood. I asked him to tell me about what he and the girls had done while Carey and I had been out. This is what he said:
"We frew trash on the floor and ylaughed and ylaughed and ylaughed." They also played tickle games, jumped on the trampoline and played cars. But I loved best the idea of them being so silly and leaving him with an image of himself and his little friends just ylaughing and ylaughing and ylaughing.
I hope that's how he can look back and remember most of his little childhood. Just without the trash-throwing provocation.