Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Six Years of Aidan

Today my son Aidan will be celebrating his sixth birthday at school. A part of the birthday ritual at his school is that the parents come in and show pictures and tell stories about their child's life, at least one per year, as they light the candles on the birthday cake. So I started thinking about my talking points for the event. [Maybe later I'll have time to fill in some actual photos . . . ]
  • Year One. We have a "baby's first year" frame, with pictures of Aidan from birth through is first birthday. It's kinda cool to see a person go from the "baby" look -- kinda lumpy and alien-looking -- to the first year, when they really start to acquire their recognizable face. I remember it was only a few days before his first birthday when I was trying to videotape Aidan playing at Janet's piano, and instead of doing so he walked off . . . but he had never walked before. Miraculously his first steps were captured on film, and ironically (and appropriately) because he was doing something other than what we expected. I remember he was a slow to start eating solids, too . . . at his party he didn't eat cake, but he did enjoy his first pretzels.
  • Year Two. Aidan started playing music, strumming on a guitar his uncle gave him for his second birthday. [Oy, this is embarrassing . . . I'm scrambling for pictures to try to remember what was going on then . . .]
  • Year Three. Aidan always had a special connection with animals. Before he could even talk, he enjoyed howling like our dogs, when they would join together with the neighbors' dogs to make a chorus of bays. His favorite toys were tiny animal figurines. We have pictures of him riding on his Aunt Meredith's horse Mac, and scattering cracked corn for Granny's chickens.
  • Year Four. This was the year that Aidan had to learn how to be a Big Brother. So much has happened between the two of them that it's hard to remember what that was like, at first. I seem to recall that it became a lot more challenging once Mal was big enough to start getting into his stuff . . .
  • Year Five. This was a big year for beeswax. I remember when we first suggested that he could make his own small animals, he was shocked and offended . . . but after a while he became a beeswax fanatic, making elaborate figures and scenes with colored wax -- literally hundreds of little figures scattered through the house. Some of my favorites: an archeological dig, complete with the bones of dinosaurs curled up in lifelike repose; a red fox, complete with a white-tipped tail, rowing a boat while smoking a pipe; a monkey reaching out with pruning sheers to cut off a holly berry from a holiday sprig.
  • Year Six. This was the year of physical skills maturing. He started going hand-over-hand on the monkey bars at home. He got a scooter for Christmas, and after a few weeks of wizzing around on two wheels, suddenly he could ride his bike without training wheels, too. I came home one day and Aidan said, "Hey, Dad, watch this," and he took off. I was flabbergasted. And he learned to swim, too -- after taking lessons for most of the year, he swam the entire length of the pool, and earned his "swimming star". It was also around now that his creations went from tiny to huge: he started digging big holes in "the digging spot" in the yard, and erecting substantial teepee frames with eight-foot long fallen limbs.

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