Posts Tagged ‘children’

Love List

May 26, 2009

I love that I have one child left who still wants me to kiss her goodnight.
I love a sky that is heavy with snow.
I love telling myself that good things are just around the corner.
I love how solving crosswords will make me lose track of time.
I love a sandy beach and the feeling of the sun on my skin.
I love counting my blessings.
I love falling asleep.
I love that little catch in Patsy Cline’s voice when she sings “Crazy”.
I love having debates about religion.
I love looking up at the sky at night and realizing the stars have moved since I looked at them two hours before.
I love a full moon, when it seems to take up half the sky.
I love the music in a young girl’s voice.
I love how I never tire of laughing at Inspector Clouseau movies.
I love my teeth, now that I had them straightened.
I love watching a pelican glide a foot above the water.
I love talking about memories with old friends even though we’ve told the same stories for years about our wild youth.
I love that I get one more year to act silly with my 11 year old daughter, before she gets embarrassed by me.
I love that I can talk to someone from Brazil or China through the Internet.
I love looking at the way girls on the beach stand a certain way when they know boys are looking at them.
I love that I discovered positive thinking in college.
I love the taste of chocolate.
I love hugs.
I love to watch my son play basketball.
I love to tell older women they look terrific.
I love the prospect of another day.
I love that I’m still here.

No Longer There

April 28, 2009

The school I went to as a child is closed;
all the classrooms shuttered.
The schoolyard where the boys played keepaway, stickball, handball, or
had endless arguments about who was the greatest
baseball player,
and where the girls skipped rope, played hopscotch or tag, or
told breathless giggling secrets about the boys;
abandoned.
The house where the nuns who taught us lived
is being rented out.
The rectory, where the priests lived
is an office building now.
The church, where I got in trouble as an altar boy for
a joke I whispered during Mass,
is rarely used.
Changing demographics did it in.
Enrollment was down,
costs were up,
The diocese had to cut costs.
The brick building sits on the hill,
smaller than I remembered it.
“There’s where I went to school,” I tell my children
as we drive up the street.
“It looks old,” says one.
“What an ugly building,” says another.
“Can we go home now?” says another.
I consider stopping the car;
maybe there’s an unlocked door.
I could walk in and explore;
take my seat in one of the old wooden desks
and try to remember the joy of being
eight years old again.
Instead, I drive on;
Knowing it may be years before I get back here.
By then the building may be gone,
razed and replaced by houses, or perhaps a shopping mall.
All the memories scattered.
My children don’t care about that;
they have the casual ruthlessness of youth.
The present is all that matters.
This building is an interruption to them.
For me it’s still a quivering, beating living thing
That’s diminishing in my rearview mirror.
“Wait,” I say, turning the car, “Let’s stop here.
Just a few moments.
Just a few moments and we’ll leave.”