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Writins of Weakeyes Cody

                                  Talented and witty writings

Blow Sand @2000

The following is a thing I wrote within the first year after our son left home and I had a case of the ‘empty cradle’ syndrome. Having helped to raise a child, I knew from the time my hand from my thumb to my litter finger spanned his body from the base of his small neck to the crack of his fanny, he would one day grow up and leave home. If something doesn’t step on their head or they don’t run in front of an oncoming vehicle, they grow up.

                Kids sort of grow up in, under, around and through us and we get so used to having them underfoot that we just take them for granted. They’re always coming at you with questions and we develop an attitude about this. Even though we try to avoid it. I always wanted to give those questions full consideration even while trying to rotate a half inch nut one-eighth turn at a time, six inches down between a sharp jagged frame and a hot manifold, with a sore thumb and freshly cut index finger.

                This may seem amusing now, but a similar thing will most definitely happen to you one day. Your child will choose this moment – yes, this place in time to ask you ‘where the shiny little spring goes’ that is being dangled from its tiny fingers poised just above a pile of blow sand. Then, with salty sweat pooling in your eye sockets, vision blurred, eyes stinging, teeth clinched you try to instruct your child whom you love more than your life, to place that little spring in the tin can on the table beside the tool box. Then hope it doesn’t drop it into the powdery dune of blow sand, or in the can at the opposite end of the table containing a thousand comparable objects where you’ll spend an hour looking for it.

                Maybe this is an extreme example? But I think not. And there will be hundreds of lesser incidents where you’ll be challenged. I didn’t make it through a lot of them without losing my temper and neither will you. If you do, then you are indeed a saint. But the point I set out to make is that long before we realize what’s happening the child has gone from underfoot and has slipped out into the world at large and just as we reach for it flies away.

                Then we walk through the empty places where it played hearing again yesterday’s questions echoing in our memory. I read books, watch interesting television programs when I can find them, mess about a lot among my photographs and souvenirs, plan trips, ride trails, visit friends and dream my dreams. But often, I find myself wishing with all my heart that I could be once again reaching upward for that half-inch nut, eyes burning, hands hurting and hear that small voice ask again, “Daddy, where does this go?” I would stop what I was doing, slide from beneath the machine, take that little face between my greasy hands and say gently, oh so gently, “son, drop it right there in that big pile of blow sand and we’ll look for it together”.

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