Lessons From Fridges and Forgetful Fish

When I open the freezer door while my son plays with the alphabet fridge magnets, Bonhomme now has to duck. My not-yet three-and-a-half-year-old is more than three-and-a-half feet tall – taller than my belly button, taller than a fridge door, taller than any Toy Story 3 clothing on sale.

With this height comes other new and strange things – patience, name-calling, a preference to learn Spanish rather than French.

These unfamiliar things are very welcome though, long awaited. But some familiar, and less welcome things are appearing too. Like despondence. A thin skin. And his extreme highs and lows are becoming better described as emotional volatility rather than tantrums.

There are many amazing qualities that I am delighted and awed to recognize in him – and to recognize that their origin isn’t entirely mysterious. His size definitely comes in large part from his father. But his personality, while certainly uniquely his, does seem to come in large part from me.

And thus, my fear.

I’m watching Finding Nemo with Bonhomme. Crush the way-cool-dude sea turtle is reassuring Marlin, Nemo’s Dad that you never really know when your freshly born baby sea turtle is ready to return to the sea, but “when they know, you’ll know, you know?”.

I don’t know how my son is going to handle the hard knocks life inevitably brings. I’m worried beyond worry that along with creativity and perserverence and humour, he’s also inherited some of my darker qualities.

But I least I know that when the freezer door that he’s just overgrown opens, he ducks. He trusts his peripheral vision, his gut.

“The whale says its time to let go!” cries Dory. “Everything’s going to be all right!”
“How do you know?” worries Marlin, scared, torn.
“I don’t!”

And Marlin realizes that when you’re in a whale about to be blown out a blow hole, it might not matter so much where you’re going to land. And just like that, they let go.

I’ll just have to do the same.

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1 comment so far

  1. Moosilaneous on

    Oh, my yes, there is no phase that is not accompanied by a fear for the future phase. Yikes, this letting go stuff is hard!!


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