Saturday, June 04, 2005

Eight Months

Every day I am simply amazed that there is this little person developing before our eyes. He came from the tiniest particles within us and has somehow developed into this incredibly unique and vivid human. He interacts, gets grumpy and complains, investigates, plays, laughs, cries. He’s growing up and there’s nothing we can do about it, except do our best to guide him toward our vision of social acceptance and even then eventually he gets to decide on his own what that means. He is alive and sometimes I look at him and get blown away by that simple fact.

We took our first road trip with Lucas this past week just as he turned eight months old. Driving eight-and-a-half-hours to northern California with him was a big mistake. I completely understand how he feels. I wouldn’t want to be strapped into a sitting position for that long either. We’re consciously putting ourselves through that torture, but he doesn’t know why the heck we’re forcing him to go through it. We were supposed to go on a long road trip this coming August or September, but after our child cried at us for two hours at midnight with my head buzzing and eyes catching demons jumping out of the night, I think we’re going to put that plan on hold. I think we are all going to need to mature a little before that trip happens.

We went to Big Basin in the Santa Cruz Mountains and had to deal with clouds of mosquitoes. There was a sign outside the registration desk that warned us about the ever-growing problem of West Nile Virus. I guess they have to do that so the state of California can free itself from all liability regarding the advancing plagues of the twenty-first century. I understand this to an extent since we live in a society where no one wants to take responsibility for their actions so they learn to love their litigious nature, but I just want to enjoy the great outdoors with my son and it wasn’t helping. There was this ominous undercurrent during our entire hike. As soon as we spotted the first mosquito my brain immediately went into panic mode. It only takes one tiny bite and we might lose him! I don’t know that much about West Nile but the people who seem to be dying from it are the very old and the very young. Lucas fits into the latter category and it was definitely making me uneasy. We covered him head to toe and marched on, hoping to get to higher dryer ground. Eventually we turned back because the mosquitoes were everywhere and it kind of ruined our enjoyment of the beautiful protected redwoods. It was creepy having that fearful feeling drifting around my consciousness teasing me with dark visions of an uncertain future. I have no idea what is going to happen to him. How long he’ll be alive? How many smiles will cross his face? How many times his heart will break? When he will realize his mission in life? How can I help him see?

There are so many things that I don’t understand yet, but that is one of the most wonderful aspects of having children. They give you perspective on what is important. I think that as adults we clutch very tightly to every moment like it’s something that might kill us if we don’t let it go, but that doesn’t coincide with the natural flow of life. Every moment is passing into the next and we are constantly growing with that passing. Every second that passes we become new people, different from the ones that passed on. We mustn’t hold onto the ghost of who we were. It’s still there like a shadow but it isn’t as substantial as the flesh of the moment or as real as the vision of tomorrow. He gives me great hope that I can become the person I always wished to be. He will continue to grow and change just like the rest of us and I have a feeling that I will continue to be amazed by the process. If I stop doing that then I guess that’s the moment that I give up on life and I don’t plan on doing that until I’m dead.

By the way he didn’t get bitten.

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