My younger daughter told me today, It will be bad for me in a few years.
Why’s that? I assumed she was pre-mourning her older sister’s forthcoming passage into adulthood and that ached-for leap into adult life.
My child said, Because my aunt buys my really nice pajamas at a place where she buys her boys’ pajamas, and we love these pajamas, and the sizes don’t go above 12.
My child will never remember this conversation. Two years hence I could bring up this remark around the woodstove, and I bet cash now she likely won’t remember this. But today, here, this meant something to her. A summertime world of utter happiness, a way of living this season where she and her two beloved cousins sleep in a small room, reading and giggling, all in their same beloved pajamas. These are days filled with bikes, swimming, endless meals – also of ears primed to hear, trying to piece out the puzzle of adult lives, the constant threads of conversation and emotion. Mainly, though, these children seek space for their growth and energy. Tonight, this child wanted to go walking in the gloaming. We went out, all of us, walking along the gravel road, and didn’t cross back into the house until long past dark.
Here’s Dylan Thomas on childhood in a stanza of “Fern Hill”:
All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.