Monday, April 27, 2009

A Rainy Afternoon

Jolted out of his nap by a combination of rumbling thunder, a rumbling trash truck, and a horrible wracking cough, Thumper called for me. "Daddy!" It was too soon, and he was clearly not ready to be up yet, so we sat together in my chair, with the lights off, listening to the rain and the thunder and the ticking of the clock. We both dozed and woke and dozed again. And I remembered a night some seven years ago, when I babysat a sick Robert McGee. He was, I think, about nine months old. He was feverish and unhappy and didn't want to do anything but sit with me in a rocking chair. The first couple of times he fell asleep, I tried to transfer him to the crib, but he wouldn't stand for it. So we just sat and rocked, his heat baking into me.

I've thought of that evening now and then over the intervening years, and it was in my memory a sort of pietà that represented my desire to be a parent, to be the one that little voice is calling to when he calls out for Daddy. And this afternoon I got to live it again. When he was ready, we shared an apple and some goldfish crackers, and now he's running around the house yelling, "Give it me! My chair!" So the moment is passed. But I loved it while it lingered and made a gloomy, rainy afternoon glow golden for an hour or so. Thanks, Thumper. I love you.

5 comments:

anniemcq said...

This brought tears to my eyes. You're such a good daddy.

suttonhoo said...

ah man: this reduced me to a puddle.

beautiful.

I, Rodius said...

Oh, thanks. I mean, it was ridiculously sappy, but I couldn't help myself.

He Said said...

Sappy, but as a father, I understand how moments like those can last a lifetime.

ataraxy said...

Awwww... I had similar experiences with that boy and his sister. Happily for me at the time, they just reinforced that I need children in my life, important ones, like the ones I was a nanny for (who are now 27 and 22) and the ones I was an au pair for (who are now 18 and 20) and the ones who are my chickens (that would be Robert McGee and Freckles, if I read you correctly).

Not a parent yet, but, well, we just got a dog. So maybe we'll take that next step towards parenthood soon.

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