Two weeks

We're in a state of suspended animation over here, lying in wait until school starts. The first day of school is in two weeks. 15 days, to be precise. Fifteen days and 10 minutes, as of this moment. Some of us are more excited about this than others.

This year is third grade, and Henry's worried. He's heard that there's testing. Also apparently there's some kind of dance the third grade class has to do in front of the rest of the school? I was pretty skeptical about this whole third-grade-dance-routine rumor, but his best friend, who's entering the fourth grade this year, confirmed it. Then again his best friend is not the most reliable narrator. Nothing against him, but I haven't met a kid his age who is. They're all a little confused, the dears.

Henry and I have been spending all kinds of quality time together, and while I look forward to resuming our regular routine and actually being able to get some things done, I am also enjoying the shit out of my kid. I said that to him! I said, "Henry, I am enjoying the ever-loving shit out of you." And he was all, "Aw, Ma." And then he rolled me my cigarettes just how I like.

It's fortunate for us that our child is extra-super-charming. Not to brag, but we kind of have the best one. Sorry, rest of the world! It doesn't hurt that August in New York, weather-wise, has been spectacular. We can go outside! And not want to die! We've been exploring Prospect Park and talking about Life and also which trees are best for climbing. (Henry then goes on to climb them. I stand nearby and try not to look absolutely certain that he will fall and break his body.)

The other day we encountered, in the park, a baby bunny. A baby! All by his/her (didn't check) lonesome! It was about the size of my palm and was hanging out with a gang of pigeons, munching on some grass. Henry advised me to steer clear, as I am known to stomp loudly and frighten away the woodland creatures, and while I obediently sat nearby he slowly inched toward the bunny. The bunny watched him from the corner of her (I've decided) eye, and once he was within a foot (while I cursed my decision to not bring my camera) they stood there and gazed at each other. It was hypnotic. I was fairly convinced he was going to mesmerize her and tuck her into his pocket before I could remind him that we have a bunny-murdering cat. (I'm guessing that's what she is. I've never seen her murder a thing. But she has it in her. I can see it in her eyes. Her blank, dead, shark eyes.)

Finally the bunny wised up and hopped off, and we continued on our way. Then I tried to convince Henry that he should be some kind of nature guide or park ranger or horse whisperer but he just wanted to talk about her little translucent ears and how she twitched her nose at him.

I do this every time my child shows a talent for something. He has an interest or an ability, and I immediately start projecting what this could indicate for his future. If he comes home with a painting, I imagine how I could nurture his talent so he can be a successful artist (and buy me a summer home) or if he writes a story that his teacher is excited about, I'm telling him that he could be an award-winning novelist someday (and then buy me a summer home). As if art isn't worth creating if there's not a future in it, or talent that isn't used for gaining income is squandered, or something. Or as if I just really want him to  buy me a summer home.  LISTEN. Is this so much to ask? I'm not asking for a place on the beach. Maybe a lake house, upstate somewhere? On the other hand the beach would be nice.