Friday, April 12, 2013

Your Children's Shoes

It happens more and more, as the boys get older.

Like, say, on Tuesday, as my little guy's School of Rock practice gave me time for both work and a long contemplative walk.  It was a beautiful evening, the perfect close to a summer-hot day, and I took the time to be in the world.  For an hour and a half, I walked slow and easy, tasting the air, feeling the breeze on my face as I walked with my Maker in the cool of the day.

 As that walk returned me to the School, I was met by the sounds of a smokin' hot jam pouring from the open windows of the second floor studio.  Solo guitar and drum, it was, and it was fat and tight and seamless.  The guitarist was spreading a sweet frosting of licks over some deep complex syncopated chocolate percussion.  A passer by in front of me, an older gentleman on an errand, stopped to listen.  I recognized the drumming.  This is my progeny?  The fruit of my loins?  How can that be?  I can't do that.

Or yesterday, as I volunteered to help sell tickets to my older lad's opening night.  It was his first high school musical, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and he'd ended up as Charlie.   My wife and other family were in watching, but I'm seeing the performance tonight and next week.  So as other eager parents left us over-staffed out front, I once again went for a walk, this time with the little guy.

We returned mid-way through the first act, and I couldn't help but peer in through the window of the theater door.  I watched the big guy launch into a song, one of his solo numbers.  It was great, not just sung but acted, sung in a softer and more childlike voice that nonetheless carried to the whole room.   My typical hyperanalytic tendency to anxiously deconstruct that which is most precious to me found itself shut down.  There is nothing at all wrong with this, said reason, impressed despite itself.  My heart just stayed quiet and swelled.

In the theater, my wife told me she was kvelling so hard she felt like she would die.  We both had the same thought.  I couldn't do better than this.  I couldn't even approach this.

This is the toddler banging away on Tupperware in the kitchen?  This is the preschooler stomping around like a dinosaur?

It reminds me of those shoes, the ones still left out by the kitchen door.

They've gotten bigger and bigger, until my feet slip into the largest ones like I'm a kid again, stomping around in my father's dress shoes.