Lisa asked me if I wanted to guest blog while she was out of town, and so here goes.
I became a father a year ago at the tender age of 41, and about a week later I uttered for the first time in my life the sentiment "I'm too old for this shit." The first weeks were exhausting, but, as you might expect me to say, the last year has been the most sublime experience I have ever had.
I have a friend from school who was paralyzed from the waist down when he was three. He has been in a wheel chair ever since, and one day someone he didn't even know brazenly asked him whether he missed walking. I am color blind, and I don't think I miss out on any experience color-wise. However, I think walking is more central to your life experience, and so I was surprised when he said that being in the wheelchair is all he ever knew, so no.
I didn't know what wasn't in my life before Lisa and Jordan, and so I didn't see my life as less than whole. However, my life is so much fuller now, I can't fathom my prior existence anymore.
So, this weekend Jordan and I had a boys weekend at home. As Jordan is one, this consisted of sampling ice cream and going for walks. We also read a lot, and I grew up reading Noddy and Beano and eating scones, leg of lamb, Welsh Rabbit and chip butties (which Lisa forbids me from ever eating again or from feeding to Jordan in the future). Jordan and I have recently been reading Mother Goose, and I couldn't tell you who likes the nursery rhymes more.
I assume that nursery rhymes are far more familiar to most American children than are french fry sandwiches, which I assure you are spectacular. However, I didn't realize how familiar these nursery rhymes were to me until I read them to my son. Suddenly I remembered wearing corduroy shorts in winter and being at my Aunt Mabel's candy shop in Yorkshire. I remembered the caravan in the garden and the way it smelled and the popsicles that had been in freezer for so long that they didn't taste like popsicles any more. And I remembered my grandmother reciting from memory rhymes that I now read to my son:
I had a little nut-tree, nothing would it bear
But a silver nutmeg and a golden pear;
The king of Spain's daughter came to visit me,
And all because of my little nut-tree.
I skipped over water, I danced over sea.
And all the birds in the air couldn't catch me.
It struck me that my grandmother remembered these rhymes from when she was a girl and someday Jordan will hear these words and will pause and remember, although he probably won't be aware that the source of his memories first began to take shape almost a hundred years ago and thousands of miles away. For now, however, we simply enjoy the pictures and the rhymes and the time we spend together.
I always enjoy it when Lisa's blog resonates with readers, who then share their similar experiences. I would love to hear some distant memories that were suddenly awakened by a familiar sight or sound, if you are willing to share.