Saturday, April 02, 2005


"Whose ear was it we found the bean in?" Such are the questions one finds oneself asking while reminiscing the precipitous peaks and perilous pitfalls of parentage. "Which one had the finger stuck in the table leg that had to take the ambulance?" And so forth. Any veteran parent can come up with a half dozen such questions on the spot.

For as there are countless moments of grace in the long, long (add as many longs as you need, they’re free) history that parentage is, spelled of individually crawling days spent upraising the smallborn to walking and running, tricycling, bicycling, motorcycling, graduation and finally marriage, so there are timeless moments of surreality that by their temper give the whole that overall adventurous quality so enjoyed in retrospect as at no other time.

At those individual moments, of course, it is an ambulance, after all, or if you’re lucky, only as remarkable as a bean in an ear (no wonder she couldn’t hear!); thus it is more a matter of wonderment now than it was then, when phenomena like beans in dear ears, sand in familiar eyes and bumps on beloved heads were commonplace, and the inevitability of survival did not have the certainty that blessed retrospect imparts. Time gives a sheen to all things, even to stumbles and falls, bruises and cuts, tables and beans (parents feel free to fill in here), all as dear to the heart as a thorn to the skin, it doesn’t matter what nation you’re in.

Then you grandparent, and it starts all over again.

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