Friday, February 5, 2010

English Exercise: Oh Boy

In my English class, we've been reading a lot of Thoreau. He talks about "seeing" the world, with eyes, intellect and emotion. This week we had an assignment to write 500 words on something we truly 'see'. Naturally I chose Aiden, but now I'm reluctant to present it in class because it's kind of personal. So I thought I'd put it here instead!

"Everyday, I spend the majority of my waking hours trying to see my child. Seeing your own child is like trying to see just one petal on a rose, you simply can’t ignore the whole flower. I can’t look into his face without seeing an eon’s worth of generations there. He has my nose, a steep slant tweaked at the very tip, covered in pale freckles like confetti. He has his father’s mouth, as shapely as an archer’s bow and pink like the inner flesh of strawberries. He has a head of renegade curls from his grandfather. He has his great grandmother’s eyes. In him he has genes and hopes that have been passed from England and Ireland and Bulgaria to South Carolina, to Iowa, to New York.

. I am constantly calling out, chasing, searching for his little body around the corners of our house. I’ll see a leg protruding from under the table, his body splayed out, cherubic face peering at me from between scuffed wooden chair legs. I’ll see molasses brown eyes crinkling in delight as he shares secrets with his long loved Dog, it’s fur patchy and it’s neck gone limp from living in the crook of his elbow. To me, the best time for seeing him is late at night, even though he’s asleep and his room is too dim to make out much more than a dark head of soft brown hair. The darkness is a heavy blanket over him, calming the frenetic energy of the day and rendering his features, so often shaped into expressions of wonder, as serene as the night itself. That is when I see, in the very peacefulness of his sleep, the costume of mischievous little boy is discarded. Instead, I see the goodness and innocence that the world believes has long gone missing.

Oh yes, everyday is an exercise in seeing. It’s harder than you can imagine, even if in this moment I can see his rounded baby cheeks as sweet and white as meringue, or his tiny dimpled hands that are an exact miniature of mine, because tomorrow they will be different. They will be a little older, a little more unique, and little more separate from me. So I try my hardest to see what I can while it’s in front of me. I do my best to remember and to hold on to what is in the here and now. I know, like a hearty gust of wind that scatters a dandelion’s gossamer topped seeds, tomorrow will come and scatter this away."


Blackjack Player said...

What phrase... super, remarkable idea

Mike Cappelletti said...

Speak to the point