I was part of a movement of "dinosaur moms" when I lived in Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni is the Maryland state dinosaur.) Which is nothing more than this -- dinosaur moms delight in the half-feral nature of the beasties they parent, even as they whisper Shakespeare and Kierkegaard in their ears at night.

Friday, December 28, 2007

What didn't make it into the Christmas letter

My friends and I are at an exhausting time of life, it seems. Where, not five years ago, our Christmas letters were full of deep reflection and high spiritual (not to mention, material) ambition; this year’s batch sounds more like, whew, we made it out of the year with the same crew we brought in, and not too battered by the journey.

I am humbled to note that my Jones, who had the most obvious milestones to report -- starting kindergarten, learning to read -- hearkens back to but one event of 2007. And that is, the day Mom popped the zit on my bum.

Why has this event taken on such epic proportions in his 6-year-old cranium? Well now, it WAS a monstrous zit. And it was already established that any assault on his bodily integrity was cause for great alarm (To his credit, he’s wailed inconsolably when I’ve cut myself, as well). But I think that the most likely reason of all is that the telling of the tale has tapped something deep and ancestral. You can almost hear the drumbeat by the fire.

Because, logistically, he could not bear eyewitness to the goings-on, he has been forced to imagine the sparks and lava and dragons that were unleashed into the world on that fateful day. And the story grows with each retelling, until he has me wrestling the demons to the ground.

Yes, he’s my little Ralph Wiggum. Remember Ralph Wiggum on his discovery of a couple sneaking a kiss in a closet? “They were making babies and I saw one of the babies and he smiled at me.”

Only the ending remains the same, the most chilling part, “And then, there was a little bit of blood. And you had to get a bandage.”

So long as I write the Christmas letter, you’ll hear about scout camp and promotions at work. But to hear Jones tell it, we emerge from this year panting from cataclysmic battles. And I can’t help but consider that Jones has it right.

No comments: