The Good of Small Things

October 28th, 2010

It’s been cold but clear the past few days and the boys and I have gone into the woods where the pond is suddenly populated by the twenty-odd ducks that winter there. There are mushrooms sprouting everywhere, and the Boychen still calls out “Hey! Look, Memli!” (although he can now pronounce “mushrooms” in English and “Schwemli” in Swiss, he still calls them Memli) as though he’d never seen one before.

The Boychen. How to describe this boy who still cries out “Memli!” a dozen times a day, each one something new to be exclaimed over and enjoyed? This boy who, if I turn my back, will be half-way to the road on his tricycle, speeding off towards the Quartier and the world beyond it. This boy with a soul like a shiny new penny, who is growing up too fast, who wants wants wants life.

My little boy, who will not tolerate being called a little boy, who is learning to skate like his big brother and who says, literally, exactly, “That’s what happens by skating, it doesn’t matter” when he falls down. This boy who is going to be as good on skates as his older brother sooner than I care to think about and who is going to leave all of us is his wake. His shiny, glittery wake. Riding down the street towards the Quartier, and the big world beyond it, and hardly remembering to wave good-bye.