I’ve got a big December planned here on the Jacke Blog. So I’m taking a breath and celebrating my favorite week of the year. Thanksgiving! Time to bring in the harvest, start up a fire, watch a little football, and keep the kitchen bustling.
So today I’m giving thanks for children, who make all this work more fun. I love putting together a big Thanksgiving feast while the boys and their cousins are watching movies and playing video games. So awesome.
Enjoy the week of holidays, kids!
And here are a few stories to remind us all of the glory of kids:
The door to my house slams shut. My sons, seven and five, are running toward me, lugging books for the journey.
Time to put on my game face. Already my older son has exhibited a dangerous tendency to be as thinky as me, in spite of our best efforts to keep him young and carefree. I cannot let him know my thoughts. I cannot explain that the smell brings me bad memories, or even the concept that smells sometimes do this, because I know he’ll dive in. He’ll want to test the idea, he’ll feel it, explore it, measure it against his own experience, imagine it, think his way through it, and someday wind up as overwhelmed as me. Giving him a set of ideas like that would be like tossing a kid a pack of matches and telling him to go play on the woodpile. Actually, given his genetic inheritance, it would be like an alcoholic giving his son a drink at too early an age.
No. It’s tempting to share my ideas. But I can’t be that irresponsible. He deserves better.
My younger one, by contrast, runs free, psychically untroubled. Whether it’s due to youth or his disposition, he feels things without the overlay of logic and introspection that burdens his older brother and me. I don’t want to spoil that either, so I put on a game face for him too.
The doors open.
Halfway through our first year I realized my kid had developed perfect pitch. It really could not have been going better.
But there I was. Night after night I sat in the chair, listening patiently to my seven-year-old run through the same songs. Twinkle in every possible variation. Honeybee. Cuckoo. Lightly Row. London Bridge. Mary Had a Little Lamb. Long, Long Ago.
All these songs, night after night. And me just sitting there, smiling and nodding and making mild suggestions.
The boredom creeping in. The tension building. Waiting for something new. But no. Back to the Twinkles. Variation A. Variation B. Variation C. Variation D. Honeybee. Cuckoo. Lightly Row…more Twinkles…
Until finally one night I walked out in the middle of practice. I went to my office, closed the door, and turned on the computer.
And maybe one last plug for Object #7 – The Keyboard, which ends with my boy at his finest. Many thanks to all these kids, who try so hard to be good!