A Moment In Time: Tell us about one moment that you lived in 2011 that you will never forget
It involved this little guy:
His name is BAM and I am his Tante Jen. See that little bow tie he has for a mouth? It was photocopied off of his mother who has been my best friend since the day we shared bong rips over bowls of Velveeta on a cold winter day in Plattsburgh, NY a little over 13 years ago. He looks just like her and is as picky an eater; I laugh in glee as a toddler version of her nose crinkles and pokes itself in the air when offered scrambled eggs or smidges of chicken cutlet.
We set out intrepidly, that day, he and I, on his first trip to the beach. In the back of my head I prayed little prayers that we’d be okay by ourselves. Unsupervised. De-safety-netted. He’s a fussy kid, moody like his mom, and up until that day, I hadn’t ever spent time alone with–let alone In Charge Of–any kid under 4. I talked to him like a crazy person, my voice pitched about an octave above it’s usual register, rattling on about nothing in particular. As I carried his stroller down the stairs to beachfront, telling him about the time his mother peed her pants on a beach in Montauk because we were laughing so hard, a gentleman of an advanced and indeterminate number of years commented: “One day, he’ll be carrying YOU down those stairs!” The implication was that I was Mother, and I wondered if this guy was looking at the same babe I was carrying in my arms. (Seriously kids, look at the picture, he’s like, Hitler Youth, and I’m all, well, Hitler.)
I set the stroller down not far from the promenade steps (the “perfect” spot is MUCH easier to find when you’re faced with the necessity of carrying a stroller with you) and unbuckled Little Mister and took off his teensy socks.
For 45 minutes, I forgot my unease.
We sat in the sunshine and I introduced him to the feel of the sand and the joy of the tide as it washes smooth footprints, only to run back to its home in an endless game of tag with your toes. His eyes lit up with laughter at the flight of tiny crabs from his touch and I saw what it looks like when a person, a littletinyperson, is amazed by the ocean for the very first time. Not a tear was shed as I told him my stories, and hand in hand we picked up beach flotsam, shells and smooth rocks that we lost somewhere on the walk home.
That 45 minutes felt important and large and part of a whole. My best friend had a baby, and as he grows older and we grow old, he’ll hear all my stories again and know them by heart and this was the day that the playback started.