Friday, September 26, 2008

HH and the seahorse

Every evening after he finishes dinner HH calls to tell me about his day, about what he had for dinner, about how he ate his vegetables and last night, about how Mama was learning to cook, “pretty good” he said, with an emphasis on the pretty.

My current assignment finds me away from home for a spell and before I left, HH and I made a deal that we would speak each day on the phone before he went to bed. He’s been very conscientious about it and I’m happy about that. Happy is a meager word to express how I feel about our daily connections – relieved, euphoric, sad – all of these emotions pass through me during and after one of our talks. Yesterday when I picked up the phone I realized I was nearly shouting into the phone I was so happy to hear his voice. I had stepped out onto the front porch of the cabin and could actually hear my own voice reverberating through the woods that surrounded me. No doubt every creature within a half-mile or so could have heard me hollering into the receiver, so I quieted down just a bit as I sat in the squeaky old beach chair I have sitting outside the door and settled in to hear all about his day.

He’d taken his swimming lesson earlier in the day and was proud to report that he had navigated the shallow end of the pool on his seahorse – a swimming noodle of some sort – on his own. I haven’t met his seahorse yet so I could only imagine what he must have looked like but I was very proud of him and I told him so. He’s determined to learn how to swim and wants to surprise the other children at the lake next year. We’ve already made a plan to kayak across the lake to the small beach where the children swim under the watchful eyes of George the lifeguard. He then plans to go straight into the water and swim to the ropes that define the swimming area. He’s been taking swimming lesson at the lake each summer since he was about three but it wasn’t until this year that he finally found the courage to put his head under water. I’m not inclined to pressure him into learning to swim, although I have encouraged him. I’m not one of those fathers who throw their child into the deep water and assume some vestigial response will guide them to shore safely. I’ve taken a slow approach to it and it seems to have worked. He wanted to take swimming classes this winter and as long as he’s the one in charge I expect he’ll do just fine.

He’s at kindergarten now and I’m up too early, listening to the rain and missing my son. I look forward to coming home and catching up on lost time, hearing all about his adventures and accomplishments, meeting his seahorse and thanking him for keeping HH afloat while Papa was away.



Blogger lou said...

It's remarkable that HH already makes plans for next year! Your approach must be good :)
I admit that when I first read of babies swimming naturally to the surface, I was tempted to see it happen... thank god I didn't have a baby at hand! Kidding... I would NOT have had the nerve to try it.

1:14 AM  

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