Thursday, October 08, 2009

saying goodbye to very young children, (one more reason to read some john updike when you can)

Andrew, October 2008

Saying Goodbye to Very Young Childrenby John Updike

They will not be the same next time. The sayings
so cute, just slightly off, will be corrected.
Their eyes will be more skeptical, plugged in
the more securely to the worldly buzz
of television, alphabet, and street talk,
culture polluting their gazes' pure blue.
It makes you see at last the value of
those boring aunts and neighbors (their smells
of summer sweat and cigarettes, their faces
like shapes of sky between shade-giving leaves)
who knew you from the start, when you were zero,
cooing their nothings before you could be bored
or knew a name, not even your own, or how
this world brave with hellos turns all goodbye.

Perhaps it would be more fitting to just post photos of them from last year, photos that demonstrate how thoroughly they have changed already. But this is how they are right now (Andrew took the photo of Will himself), and in a few months time, the change will be plain enough for me.


Allie said...

I love to read your blog and see pictures of your adorable little boys. I am so grateful we live in an age where we can preserve these moments in digital splendor.

Bill Smith said...

John Updike captures in prose what what poets have tried to capture in poetry since words were first written on parchment thousands of years ago: How time changes everything and the profound sadness associated with the last goodbye.

Michelle said...

they are so dang cute. when are we going to hang out?

Kimmie said...

I get depressed everyday knowing Brooklyn is almost out of babyhood. My kids constantly hear me say "if we could just freeze her the way she is"...I've said that about each of my babies! I love them little!!!

Momo Cannon said...

How sweet and precious those boys are! How blessed they are to have such good parents. We love you all.

Sarah said...

That is a wonderful poem. It is amazing how quickly this time passes. I love those pictures!

Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing that powerful Updike selection. That last line hits you right in the heart--especially when you live with a toddler and know exactly what it means to have a world filled with brave hellos.

brooke said...

I love John Updike. I would freeze my baby (19 months!) right now if I could too. Your boys are adorable--they have the most innocent faces and big eyes.