The XY Train

Boy: noise with dirt on it.

Four Groovy Farts

petethecatTraces of baby and toddler were long gone. My man child climbed over body pillows and disheveled duvet cover to plop a pile of books onto my lap.  Awkward limbs laid softly next to mine.  “Which one tonight?” he asked with pleading doe eyes pointing to the heap in my lap.  Smiling, I caught a whiff of cherry almond lotion and peanut M&Ms he wasn’t suppose to eat.  I told him to choose in an attempt to ward off any protest my choice could bring.

Magic Tree House Mummies In The Morning and Pete The Cat were top choice. Pete The Cat was saved for last he announced with a bit of a bounce. We prepared to travel with Jack and Annie to Egypt. At chapter’s end we had yet to depart.

Pete The Cat was losing buttons left and right and he kept his high spirits with a song about his four groovy buttons. I was taught the song so I could sing along. It was reading hour turned choir rehearsal but I didn’t mind.

Snapping fingers, clicking tongues and off key notes echoed from walls as we sang and laughed about Pete’s popping buttons. We laughed and laughed some more.  And then, there was a fart; loud, strong and wrong.

“Did you just fart in my bed?” I cupped my hand over my nose protecting my nostrils as his entire face erupted in laughter followed by a crescendo of more farts.  Each more offensive than the one before it.

Banished from my room, he danced away singing a new song.  My farts, my farts, my four groovy farts.

Between the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood, we find a delightful creature of a boy. – Unknown

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goldieI rushed into a room full of weeping and wailing to find my son sprawled across a floor full of tears. I’m panicked, looking for blood or broken bone in between his screams of, “OH LAWD, WHY, WHY,WHY?” sounding like a cross of between the beginning of an old Negro spiritual and the sounds of Nettie from Color Purple being dragged from the house. Then he points across the room, mid moan. I squint to see Goldie, belly up, floating across his fish bowl.

This is not his first death experience.  In fact Goldie was our third fish.  The first was Bob. He came and told me matter-of-factly, “Bob is dead. I took him out of the bowl to pet him and he just stopped playing.”

Grandma died earlier this year. That was his first consciousness of death.  I pulled him in my arms and embraced him realizing he had made the full connection of loving and losing.

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