Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm a big kid!

The extended gypsy fantasy included sleeping outside and lasted a week
The kids are gone for the week.  I actually do miss them because I'm actually enjoying summer vacation with them this year!  But ... have already found a few things with which to occupy myself.  For instance, in the 36 hours since they left I napped on the porch with a beer, skinny dipped, hiked, polished my yoyo skills, kicked Huck's hiney at cribbage (TWICE!), and not done one load of laundry nor washed a single dish (it's getting a little obvious now too).  I've slept, eaten, dressed and frolicked without fielding a single complaint!  I've witnessed Huck read Neruda to 200 people.  And I watched a hummingbird attempt to solicit nectar from every single one of my clothespins.  I am trying my hardest to enjoy the absence of 130 collective pounds of responsibility. Meaning has been easily replaced with entertainment and simplicity.  Oh... the trade-offs.

I've also watched two movies, Something something vs. the World (it was great) and the another of my fabulous movie-for-myself flicks... something Huck wasn't interested in and the kids couldn't watch.  I've had two in recent months and Gollleeee! do I pick some winners!  I've indulged myself in two gruesome lesbian/murder flicks: Boys Don't Cry and Monster.  Both true stories which makes them in some ways worse... and in other ways if someone had made them up, I would be suggesting lock down. Both movies are such well done horrors that instead of letting myself flow along with the well-spun magic, I take firm hold of my emotions and don't let go.  It seems that if I really allowed myself to fully move in to these stories, I would go insane.  I would be plummeted into an existential crisis the like of which I have not seen since high school.  I would become, permanently, uselessly, a total wreck.  AND an committed atheist but definitely NOT a humanist.  I would be left with nothing, hope-wise.  These redemption-less stories sure do wreck what's supposed to be a self-indulgence.  And yet I prefer them to things like Chocolat -- no matter how many Johnny Depp scenes they flung at that thing, it was never going to be better than awful and it did plunge me into a cravass of futility-of-existance and a desire to hurl rotten tomatoes at the creators -- or whatever you call such wasters of resources.

Also, with the kids gone, I've got the Calvin and Hobbes books all to myself.  C&H were hilarious as a child.  And now, as a parent, they are even (if it's possible) funnier. When I was young, I couldn't pick a favorite between Far Side and C&H.  Reviewing them now, C&H stands.  The Far Side was revolutionary and broke open the funny pages and has been mimiographed so completely that even my kids noted the similarities to Bizarro, Off the Mark, and others.  (NOTA BENE: we are funny page connoisseurs sometimes necessitating purchase of several dailies in order to enjoy them all in their proper formats.  Other kids favs: Garfield and Peanuts).  Far Side is still hilarious, but the quirky humor element that so surprised us in the '80's is no longer so surprising and that dents the hilarity, but tips the hat to it's revolutionary success.  Calvin and Hobbes, on the other hand, remains induplicatable.  Philosophical, drawn to convey the Platonic-ideal of each expression, bridging the gaps between generations, it will never be surpassed.

The longer I am a parent, the less, it seems, that I remember being a child.  And this is by some necessity.  It will not do to understand the children more than I understand my own position and task.  Yet Calvin and Hobbes manages to connect me to both, simultaneously. And Blue says, "I like how sometimes Calvin is just imagining a monster and other times there really is one, but his parents just don't understand." I remember thinking that as a child too. 

wheat field across the street
I may not be an atheist yet, nor a committed theist, but I am a CalvinandHobbseist.  I believe in the resurrection of monster snowmen.  I believe in the attack of the stuffed tiger.  I believe in Spaceman Spiff.  And if there be a heaven, it will include Calvin and Hobbes, both, forever and ever, Amen.


  1. i come back each week to your stories and thoughts and am always delighted. thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and being delighted! -sj



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