12 3 mins 11 yrs

Tree!  Moon!  Stars!

These are the one sentence stories my two year old son tells me on those nights when he and I go out to sit on the front porch steps.  He points up to the darkening sky and shouts out names of the trees, the moon and the stars as if he has caused them to appear just for us.  The worries of the world fall aside, and I laugh with him as he giggles in delight at what he can do.  We sit on the stone steps as the long days and short years of childhood go by, and watch the moon rise over the trees and listen to the crickets and owls and distant trains.  I think how some day when he is my age he’ll drive by and show his son the old house where he used to sit with his old man.  And then he breaks my thoughts with some joyful noise of some delight he notices in his joyful world.  Every man may indeed be a hero to his dog, but every father should have this glorious period where you are strong, brave, and wise to your son.

The boy across the street from where we sit, our neighbor, is almost fourteen.  He was two when his father got sick and died.   He is a good boy, well loved and active in life.  His father would be proud.  Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote that childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies, nobody important.  His kingdom may have been like Camelot.  Real memories of his father, or just dreams.  My neighbor’s boy still had a good childhood, his mother is a wonderful lady and the extended family extended itself.  Even though a shadow passed over the garden of his childhood, it did pass.  So I don’t worry for him but  I do think  about what his father missed and what I hope to see with my own sons.  I recognize that some cliches, like stopping to smell the roses, are not little pearls of wisdom on a greeting card, but the essence of life.  So I remind myself not to dwell on the small things in life  and to enjoy the great things that life brings. 

Like sitting on the front porch steps.  And listening to my son shout  Tree!  Moon! Stars!     



*apologies for the non-political post, but sometimes it is nice to take a break.

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12 thoughts on “Smelling the Roses

  1. short years of childhood go by

    Indeed. My daughter is 24 and I can remember pointing out the stars to her when she was about 5 or 6. We used to look through the telescope and I still have a little computer programme that identifies everything.

    To her credit, she can still recognise some of the constellations.

    Make the most of it Mahons, and nice post.

  2. Very nice post, Mahons.
    When you’re a young child, time stretches out like an eternity before you, but of course by the time you’re a father, the years seem to fly by much more quickly, so make the most of these wonderful years!
    (And no need to apologise for the non-politicalness of your post – ATW would be boring if it was just a bunch of faceless people posting nothing but politics. Posts like this bring the site to life, rather than diminish it).

  3. When I see my own brood, all now adults themselves, along with the three grandsons, I do believe I can still see those young bodies as they dashed into the tiny waves advancing on the beach from a virtually calm sea.

    Every second spent with a child should always be saved, cherished and burnished in memory, because they last all too briefly, and are too precious to be forgotten in the rivers of time. Point out those stars, Mahons, and give your son a squeeze from one who knows the joys, and the sorrows, to come!

  4. Very nice to meet the real man! – always knew you were hiding your true light under the proverbial bushel…

    Those memories are the most precious thing you can have, – long may you have them.

    Lovely post…

  5. My pseudonym seems to have grown! but I just wanted to say what a nice post. Politics isn’t everything but if its not for the children what is it for? Good to be reminded from time to time.

  6. Lovely.
    There’s nothing comparable to seeing yourself – your ideas, excitement, humour – reflected and continued in your son. Let him have my wife’s good looks and sporting skills – but his mind must be mine.

    BTW – there are wonderful views of Jupiter in the eastern sky after sunset this and next week. Wait until about 2 hours after sunset and look for the bright yellow “star” in the eastern sky. Anyone with any sort of telescope or even good binoculars will be able to see the disc and the four moons like tiny cold stars, two on each side of the planet.

    Let your son remember where he saw that first – mine will.

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