My Mind

My Mind
This is my mind

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beware, thin ice

It' a might cold. It's cold inside because I hate using heat. I have complained for years about turning on the heat because it is cold outside. It dries out the air which dries out the mucous membranes of my nasal cavity leaving me open to any number of viruses and bacteria. Without the natural mucous barrier these little stinkers find ways through tiny cracks in the dry skin. It's like painting a welcome sign in verese or bacteriese saying come aboard, herein lies a walking petrie dish. Lots o' room and lots o' nutrition. A free ride for 7 days or more. So I don't like the heat unless it is unbearably cold.
When it is cold enough to freeze salt water I would be willing to flip that switch no questions asked. It happened once when my boy, Derek, was a vary young child. There is an inlet from the Stono that runs directly past my mother's house which on this occasion froze completely from the top down to the mud bedding. It was an unexpected phenomenon never seen before or since. It was deep enough to skate on if we Southerners owned ice skates. The neighborhood kids were trying their luck with walking on the surface and naturally my son wanted to give it a shot. When i saw him venturing out I yelled at him, "Get off that! you might fall through!"
It was one of my worst fathering days. Why couldn't I let him enjoy the moment without frightening him? I had no idea that there was not just a crustof ice there. It was completely solid. And what would it have mattered if he had fallen through? It isn't like he would have dropped into a watery grave with no way out. The worst that would have happened is his feet would get wet, freezing wet. I would have pulled him free of the ice trap, carried him into the warm house, and dried him off. So what if the shock of the cold could have weakened his immune system inviting in a cold or worse pneumonia. So what if he spent a month in the hospital hooked up to IV bags. So what if... Well, that was how my mind floundered about in those early days of fathering, protective to the point of smothering.
What a stupid way to see that moment. What a stupid thing to yell at a young boy full of curiosity. What a poor decision to steal such a fun adventure to a small boy who only wanted to experience the slippery surface. I robbed my boy of a once in a lifetime moment. It was one of those things that stick with me. Worst father of the year, should read a trophy atop my mantle piece. I don't know that my boy remembers that but I carry it like a Kodak moment of fatherly shame. My over blown sense of protectiveness snatched a joyous moment right out of the life of a little boy.
I will always regret those words. I will always see that look of sad disappointment on his face. Pardon me, please, while I go kick my own...
Anyway, that was a time that the heater hummed away inside the house keeping us warm and cozy. A humidifier helped. Such a simple solution.

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