Good stuff: Parental heartbreak, of a sort.

Last night, very late last night, I heard the husband chuckling at his computer. “This is so cute!” he said, and drew my attention to a video.

Within a split second, I was laughing with him. Within two split-seconds, I was weeping. Weeping and laughing, laughing and weeping, through all 55 seconds of it. Four times in a row.

It’s a little boy, a very little boy, being very proud, and very declarative. And hand to God — it could be my little boy, seven or so odd years ago.

This boy looks something like my boy, but mostly: this boy has a voice like mine did, has a similar grasp of standard English, and shares my little boy’s absolute confidence and surety that he can rally the world itself to greatness. It was as if my former little boy’s spirit had invaded another little boy and begun to talk.

I wept and wept and wept. Oh how I wept! I’m tearing up just thinking about it!

Now, in my defense, it was very late last night, and today, having had three terrible nights’ sleep in a row, I am exhausted. Furthermore, I’m due to get my period, like, any second now (explaining the bad sleep, BTW). When tired, and sometimes on the day or two before my period, I am even more prone to weepiness that usual.

And yet, that weepy tends to be of the welling-up variety. The lump-in-the-throat sort. The I-kind-of-struggle-to-get-words-out-as-a-couple-of-tears-roll-down-my-cheeks kind of thing. This, on the other hand, was full-on, can’t-be-stopped, damp-Kleenex-piling-up-at-my-side WEEPING. With the attendant sorrow.

Which, oh my God, so weird! And unexpected! And what the hell?!

I have long said that if I reallyreally wish I could travel back in time and visit my children’s younger selves. That I love them madly, desperately, without limit just as they are — but that I miss the old them just the same. That I would give my eye-teeth just to hold my babies in my arms, one more time.

And this? I think this was like getting ambushed by a glimpse into the possibility of making that dream real. Out of nowhere: BAM — here’s the little boy! For 55 seconds of viewing! And not one second more! And you can’t touch or smell or kiss him or feel his hair or ask him anything or get a hug!


Every once and awhile, life hands you an emotion that you didn’t even know was within the realm of human experience — I certainly had no idea that this was out there for me. But man!

Now, if you will excuse me, I think I’ll watch it another time or twelve. Hand me the Kleenex, ok?


  1. dmf

     /  June 3, 2011

    for friday and hormones.

    For My Son Noah, Ten Years Old
    By Robert Bly

    Night and day arrive and day after day goes by,
    and what is old remains old, and what is young remains
    young and grows old,
    and the lumber pile does not grow younger, nor the
    weathered two-by-fours lose their darkness,
    but the old tree goes on, the barn stands without help so
    many years,
    the advocate of darkness and night is not lost.

    The horse swings around on one leg, steps, and turns,
    the chicken flapping claws onto the roost, its wings whelping
    and whalloping,
    but what is primitive is not to be shot out into the night and
    the dark.
    And slowly the kind man comes closer, loses his rage, sits
    down at table.

    So I am proud only of those days that we pass in undivided
    when you sit drawing, or making books, stapled, with
    messages to the world…
    or coloring a man with fire coming out of his hair.
    Or we sit at a table, with small tea carefully poured;
    so we pass our time together, calm and delighted.

  2. A wonderful way to start a day for me.

    A wonderful way to start a life for him.

    Thanks for posting this.

  3. dmf

     /  June 3, 2011

  4. Lise

     /  June 3, 2011

    Indeed it is so much like the little guy we hold so dear to our hearts!

  5. What a great Dad, too!

    He’s taught his son the importance of looking not just at the accomplishment, but the path to the accomplishment, and that sharing that path with others is of value.

    Thank you, Emily.

  6. He’s taught his son the importance of looking not just at the accomplishment, but the path to the accomplishment, and that sharing that path with others is of value.

  7. corkingiron

     /  June 6, 2011

    An important reminder, especially after the Weiner nonsense. Thanks.

    • dmf

       /  June 7, 2011


      • corkingiron

         /  June 7, 2011

        I’ve been outed! Well done.

        • dmf

           /  June 7, 2011

          ha, summers working in the Adirondacks and Woods hole, MA provided some perhaps unusual exposure to handcrafted boats and their slightly warped makers

          hey ee, what’s with the fancy new technology, trying to teach us old dogs new tricks?

  1. Weeping is the new laughing « An American Point of View
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