Thursday, June 28, 2007
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - H.L. Mencken
So if you've been reading my blog or spent anytime with Bowie, you will know that he is currently obsessed with swords. He has two* and is almost always holding one (he leaves it in the car at most public places, though). He talks about them all day. And makes any object of length a sword as well. He's SO into weapons. I think about this a lot, with sword poked at me, gun shooting at me. I make peace with it everyday. Because I can see that his soul is more pure than mine, that he does not need to be taught how to be good. I no longer confuse his talk about killing as any sign of his character. It is an exploration of some of the greatest issues of people and society. The other day he saw a flashing and noise making set of pirate sword and pistol. And he so, so wanted it. He sat in the aisle of the drugstore and pushed the activating buttons over and over again.
The sound is grating to my soul. It is so hard for me to hear it. But there is also a part of me that has grown to love his pretend play. He loves to dress up. He practices moving gracefully with his weapons. We have all started to engage in pretend fighting, which I could not have imagined myself doing or enjoying a year ago. And the night before we watched the new live action Peter Pan movie (which seems wonderfully faithful to the book, though we're only a couple of chapters into it). So the idea of introducing the pirate to our band of characters appealed to me.
As a photographer, I loved the idea of the images these would make. So I made a deal. I offered Bowie his first paying gig as my model. As he gets older I really look forward to our collaboration in photography. He knows that he can help me do something I really love. And we do things that he has fun doing. I have written about how photography is part of how I practice observant guidance in my parenting. But it also is part of the way I show reverence for Bowie. And it is part of my meditation in unconditional joy and love, which the unschooling philosophy has helped me experience more deeply by helping me shed so many fears. When I look at Bowie through the lens, I am seeing him so clearly and without distraction. When I look through these photos again to edit them, I see things I didn't notice before and I know more about my son and experience such a strong sense of gratitude. It repairs my pistol scratched soul.
*now three swords, one pistol, one fazer, and one lightsaber...on to star wars now, must make jedi cloaks
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
A glorious day, but now pouring rain. This has been an amazingly mild spring and summer so far. Very wet. Which is oh so good for this land that usually is in drought and 100+ temperatures by early May. We've been spending a lot of time indoors, more from the mosquitoes that are thriving in this wetness, than the actual wetness itself.
But today we spent the later afternoon at our local farmer's market. Bowie immediately stripped down to his green undies and brand new dancing skeleton Vans to participate in the mass enjoyment of the dancing fountain. I must, must return there with him some evening and take photos. The kids had a blast chasing the water, trying to predict when the spouts would shoot, positioning themselves just so in the arch of the sprays. People, all kinds of people, sat around and watched the children play. It was clearly a place of joy for everyone. After 2 hours of this, we went over to the stage to enjoy some live music. Bowie laid down on his tummy, chin in hands, front row and watched the band for about 6 songs. Then he took off into the large yard and attached himself to a group of older kids, joining in on their goal of filling a grate with gravel from the walking paths. I sat 100s of feet away and watched from afar. I never took my eyes off of him. I saw that he was having his own experience, one that I can guess at but that I do not share with him. It was sad and wonderful. His world is bigger than me now. It is a loss for me. But the gain is so amazing; he is knowing and trusting himself, seeking out people all around him.
He had 3 or 4 involved conversations with adult strangers. He initiated all of them. He offered them food, showed them his new shoes, and smiled the most heart meltingly charming smiles. Even kissed some of them. This usually is received with delighted perplexed expressions. It’s sweet. (Sometimes he is greeted with annoyance and discomfort, though.) I think it’s wonderful that he still trusts the world. I watch over him like a hawk, my mother’s anxieties undeniable. But watching him in his confidence also sets me at peace with the world. Most people will respond to true interaction with kindness. And that’s too good too miss out on.
We were quite almost the last people at the market, the tents were gone, the fountain danced only with itself, the stage was silent, the bocce ball players had ridden off on their bikes, and the clouds were rolling in. I wished I had my camera. The pink, grey, blue, white, black…Bowie, still in only his undies and shoes, could not bear to leave. He’d been rolling in the grass, carrying rocks against his belly, skimming over brick walls (belly scratched), and he couldn’t be happier as Chris and I commented that everything he was doing looked so utterly uncomfortable. But he chose the fun. Because that’s too good to miss out on. Hmmm, I think I’ve realized my lesson from Bowie today. Notice and enjoy the things that are too good to miss out on.
Like the farmer's market.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I love that my father in law took a soaked rainy walk and my mother in law happily painted Bowie's arms for him. He started off on himself, but soon enjoyed asking Grandma to give him polka dots and then rubbing them him. They had so much fun together. We went swimming, to the park and toy store. And she played played played. She was asked to say what Tuba, our dog, says at least 300 times in a row at dinner last night. And she answered everytime with a grin, though sometimes a weary one.
Every summer, after her schoolyear of teaching 5th graders, Chris's mom spends a few days with us before going on her vacations...this year Lake Tahoe, Hong Kong, Thailand, and home to Illinois, and camping in the New Mexico mountains. Isn't that amazing? We have a fantastic collection of postcards we receive from all of her adventures.
Bowie is blessed to have such fun and loving grandparents. My parents live near us and Bowie spends the night with them so happily and expectantly. He loves to ride on his Gramps' riding lawnmower and cook with Nonnie. It is so wonderful to see him at such ease with the other important people in his life. It makes me love my folks in a new way.
Monday, June 04, 2007
So here they are, my top 5 boys and girls names (minus the couple we would choose ourselves, just in case we have another baby one day):
So I'm taggin some of my friendly bloggers:
Forgive me :) and I look forward to reading your lists.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
We had Bowie’s Birthday Party this morning at a local park. Bouncy house and bubbles and green. These elements were the designed by Bowie. Great fun with great friends and family. My heart rises up every year when the people we love sing Happy Birthday to my son. He was ever SO excited this year. It is wonderful to be around such open enthusiasm and expectation. There were times today when he was so excited that he was on the brink of hysteria.
Bowie's request for cake was that it be chocolate with green icing. Yesterday we had a big family shopping trip to the party store. Chris bought green props and produced this amazing birthday cake. Every day I love that man more and more. He is an amazing papa and my best , best friend that makes it easy for us all to grow and be better.