The silly facts of life

Do you see it, too? Birds singing in front of your bedroom window every morning, a cool breeze accompanied by gentle warm rays of sun, the sound of children playing in the park, your … neighbor’s wife enjoying the rising temperature in the backyard with … not too many clothes on…
… you get the point.

New York is seeing its first signs of summer and I’m loving it. I hate those cold, dark months. There’s nothing to see outside, it’s slippery on the roads and Christmas always brings up the worst in me. I prefer summer above all other seasons. My mood goes up, my wife takes advantage of that and my son comes to new insights.

The other day, Nadia picked Pewter up from school. Even though he’s eleven, he’s not the brightest kid in class. A bit naïve, too. That said, I can leave it to Nadia to flower up all the nasty sides to life.

“Mommy? Why did that man throw that cat out of the car while driving?” Pewter asked. Nadia’s expression didn’t show even a hint of shock or sadness after he’d popped the question. That’s the secret to raising kids… or maybe just the secret to raising eleven-year-olds who have the brain capacity of a parakeet; you let them in on all sides to life gently and very, very carefully.

“I think the cat had to go for a wee-wee really quick, honey.” Nadia said. She always knew how to bring those things gently. Unfortunately for us, Pewter was not entirely ignorant to the facts of life. At that very moment, somewhere in that vast, unexplored universe, through a twist of fate, a couple of planets aligned that probably made something happen. Blessed as Nadia and I were, the answer was revealed to us: Pewter had remembered something. “But you said cats always land on their feet when they fall?”
Nadia thought about that for a second, then said: “Yes honey, but that speeding truck didn’t let it.” A second later she added: “Trucks eat cats, honey. All the time.”

It’s amazing how you can mold your children into the very shapes you want them to get. Okay, we might have deformed him a bit so far, but as soon as he marries there’ll be no saving him anyway. I’d like to see it as a pottery class: you dirty your hands trying to create something, but when it comes out of the oven it’s not that beautiful vase you had always wanted. Usually, it’s nothing a little paint can’t fix. In Pewter’s case, we aren’t entirely sure yet.

As it so happens, I was drinking coffee in the kitchen earlier today when Pewter suddenly stormed inside from the garden, carrying his toy cars. “Daddy, daddy! The woman next door is sunbathing in the garden and asking a man if he wants to eat her pussy, is it sick and dying?” After I sprayed coffee all over my newspaper, the first thing that came to mind was to try and not make Pewter any wiser. “Well son, sometimes you have to let nature take its course. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do.” He looked really disappointed and fumbled around with his toy cars.

“Is it okay for nature to let things eat eachother when they are sick and dying, then?” At this point, Nadia walked in. She kneeled next to him and stroked his hair. “Yes honey, that’s how nature works. Don’t be sad about it.” She smiled at him, kissed him on the cheek and watched him happily bounce off back into the garden. Then she turned to me. “And that’s how you do it.” She smirked and turned away. “Indeed. But you’d better head to the store and buy some flowers right away.” Nadia’s confused look made me feel really good on the inside. “What for?”

From the neighbor’s garden, I could hear a woman’s voice screaming, accompanied by the honking sound of a toy truck.

Summertime. Don’t you just love it?