Thursday, February 17, 2011


My daughter woke up for a little bit tonight, and I'm sitting with her while she drops off back to sleep. The cat jumped up and startled me (she likes to pretend she's a hunter) and is sitting on my other side and has started purring and it's been hard to stay awake.

But the house is peaceful and my son is sleeping soundly and it occurs to me that we've come a long way from the days when we didn't get more than a couple of hours of rest at a stretch. I feel, like I feel when the winter suddenly relaxes it's grip for a day or two and the kinder weather returns; like a prisoner whose been unexpectedly freed (and is unsure if the release is permanent).

(I'm hearing the steady sounds of my daughter sleeping, which tells me I can head back to my own sleep in a bit.)

I wonder very much what's coming next for us, what the Spring will bring with it.

I find myself looking for early seasonal birds and thinking about the little crocus fronds that come up first in March and the acrid musty ozone smell of the earth thawing. I know Winter has a punch or two left to throw, but I feel like we're coming to the end. I'm hopeful I guess and that has to be a good thing.

Good night.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

If I walk on swift legs
With arms smooth and strong
And a heart beat steady
As a summer song.

And at days end meet
Secure and bright
A roof, and walls, and door
To keep warm this night;

And arms and hands
Embrace with love my own
And bright eyes assure
That this is my home.

Is it enough for my will
To soften, for my watch to relent
To what end do I follow
My heart and find content.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Close My Hand

The day I both dreaded and looked for came and went when I wasn't watching; my little man has begun to be aware that one of his hands wont work the way the other does. There's something, I guess, that every father dreads his child knowing, whatever it may be, because once they know it, it's impossible for them to unknow it. My son is now aware of his disability.

"Close my hand," my little guy says in the morning and at lunch and when he thinks of it.

Because his version of that phrase actually sounds more like hose sand, until today I thought he was asking to go to the beach.

He looks down at that hand and moves it with his right hand and seems to know now that there's something missing. He's doesn't display any anger or frustration (not yet anyhow), he's just puzzled I think.

He'll look up at me or his mother or sister and repeat the request until we can distract him with some other activity.

There's no way to explain it to the boy (not yet anyhow), and very little to do beyond what we are doing, but like the tax notice or the mortgage adjustment or the dental x-ray I knew was coming, that day is now.

There's a silver lining in all this of course. He's aware of that left hand, and so he'll try to use it more and more. Even though it's affected by his cerebral palsy, it belongs to him and knowing my little guy, he'll find a way to make it useful. Like any kid with a toy that's a little beyond his years, he'll fumble with it for a bit until that day that he learns to make it do what he wants it to do.

But that knowledge that his early days held back like the warm days hold back the frost is now settling in upon him. I can't hold it back. I can't bring back the forgetful summer.

I wish he had more time to be innocent. I wish those little shoulders didn't have to heave up that load so early. I wish I could make it easier for him. As vain as those wishes are, I wish them.

He's a strong boy though. And more tough minded than some adults I work with. I know too he'll do what he has to do; I know there are a village of people standing just behind him and beside him. He'll be all right.

Good night.