Had a birthday a few days ago. A pretty happy one. But I digress.
My dad passed away this spring after a long, awful illness. Aside from his leaving an arcane crevice between what was and what is -a deep hollow I can only allow myself to fall into because I know that the bottom is cushioned with the merciful end to his suffering- the loss has made the feeling of the years stacking up more relentless than ever. Maybe this was the digression. Bear with me.
So we spent the day in St. Augustine with our newly potty-trained (YAAAAAAAAY!!!) three-year old, who gave me these two strange little gems for my birthday:
1. [in a hushed voice, after proudly having done his business in the toilet] We can’t flush the toilet, mama. [maw-mah] We might scare away your birthday!
2. [disappointed, upon learning how old I am] But I want you to be sixteen!
Not three, not seven. Sixteen. How he got to that number I don’t know. Would be nice to be that age again. Still, I’m happy with this one, the one that lets me be a toddler’s proud mawmah. I think the years when my sister and I were small children were some of the most precious to my dad, and he thoroughly enjoyed every last moment he got with his toddling grandsons.
To an outsider, the recounting of a three-year old’s banter is probably enough to induce an immediate gag reflex followed by a collapse into boredom-coma. But I just couldn’t help the impulse to record this particular session. And I wouldn’t miss any of it for the world.