Sunday, June 04, 2006

June 4, 2006

Early Sunday morning. As I write this the apartment is quiet and the sky outside has assumed the dull gray-blue it has been wearing now for what seems like forever. His Holiness and I have bad colds. He has been carrying around a fever and a rough cough for the last few days, while I endure the simple miserableness of an early summer upper respiratory virus. He stayed up late last night watching an early Muppet movie, eating ice cream on the couch and enjoying his limited run “sick” license to a pretty wide range of otherwise prohibited pleasures.

The two of us will be off soon to America – I feel like a boomerang whipping back and forth across the northern hemisphere. He is very excited about the trip but I wonder how he will feel after a few weeks away from his mother and his home here in Cologne. We visited with our German family yesterday, made the rounds of the small towns and villages in the northern Eifel where Aunts and Oma reside and where His Holiness and his mother sought refuge each weekend during my recent extended exile in America. We brought gifts and ate far too much, took a long walk in the recently christened Eifel National Forest and I watched and listened as my son went from hand to hand from shoulder to lap from one relative to another, laughing and speaking his new native tongue with the people he has come to know as his family. He speaks German now, almost exclusively. In the eight weeks I was away he went from speaking only English while understanding a good but of German, to speaking German like a local. He German vocabulary far exceeds my own and I hope that in the weeks ahead, alone in our cabin in the Catskills, his English will slowly come back to him. Otherwise we are in for a long summer of him taking me by the hand and leading me to whatever it is he wants to eat, drink or play with, which is not an altogether unpleasant experience, but not a very efficient one.

There isn’t a day that is long enough nor an hour when there isn’t some change in him, a word, some recognition that conjures a smile; he can wash his own hands, ride a three-wheeled bike, sing. He feels the power rising up inside his still soft limbs while I feel the power waning from my own. We aren’t even close, the two of us, on the road of life. Although we walk hand in hand, he is ascending while I have long passed leveling out and as much as I hate to believe it, have begun my inevitable decline. I will work hard at this, take care of myself, eat well, exercise, stay curious but I have made the decision not to deny the differences between us. On the contrary, they are a constant reminder to me to pay attention, take nothing for granted, to yield up begrudgingly any moment away from him, certainly now, today and tomorrow, while he is still young enough to hold my hand or run to me laughing.


Blogger Signora B. said...

Once again I have to say it ,
You are such a tenderhearted father,Richard,and little HH wil grow up to be a tenderhearted young man.
Enjoy the moments and keep making memories.
I hope your feeling better.

2:50 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

No matter what our age, as parents, our moments with our young children are fleeting and we do need to slow down and pay attention to the small moements more frequently.

I hope that you have a beautiful summer together. I can't wait to hear about your adventures together. xo

4:41 AM  
Blogger J said...

Doesn't HH have any friends to play with in the Catskills? I don't know how long you guys lived there, so I'm not certain. If not, perhaps some should be found for him.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

J ... He has some playmates, but we are summer people so not as many as he might have if we were there year-round.

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

had to stop blog for a while

things have got very weird and difficult

i'll be in touch

i want to start a new one!!!



6:48 PM  

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