Tuesday, April 20, 2010

old habits...

"Dad, can you dry me?" my son bellows from the shower. I walk in the bathroom and my son is standing there dripping water all over the floor. I have been toweling him off for as long as he remembers, its like our little routine. As I dry him off we usually make up funny words, sing a song, or just talk. After ten years, he still wants me to dry him. Tonight I told him he needs to dry himself and he was heartbroken. Is the routine a hindrance to his growth or am I the one who can't let go?

Bathtub songs, bedtime stories, cutting food into bite size cubes. These are some of the rituals we start with our young children. They are the little moments that are the hardest to let go. When is the right time? That first time you stray from the routine, you feel that glitch in the world that something just changed. You want to reverse time, go back just one minute and start again, because once the moment has passed, its gone. Children like routines, planned out to avoid inconsistencies; avoid confusion. In reality, adults like routines just as much as children do; its a state of comfort and stability. I know when my son has his own kids, he will remember how great that time felt and will seek to relive those moments again.

After my son hears the news, his head tilts down. I grab the towel out of his hands and rub his hair dry. He makes funny faces and I laugh. I spin him around in the towel until he is polished dry. Maybe I will start with going from seven days to six.


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