Thursday, September 18, 2008


September 18th, 2008

2:10 PM

Was here earlier today. A little after seven. Started writing about the day. Cars and planes. Dogs and neighbors. All of them making noise. And I was revved up. On the cusp of a rant about the state of the world and how I'm not the writer I had hoped I'd be. Then Little Man woke up.

Nothing like a two-year old to help a man shift gears.

Gone was the cynicism and woe-is-me bullshit about wanting to be a "real" writer. In their place was Little Man and his hungry belly.

"Cereal!" he said, as he tossed his stuffed puppy and stuffed donkey to the floor.

"Yes, sir," I said.

He climbed up into the chair. Sat at the kitchen table.

"Cereal!" he said again.

"I'm working on it, buddy."

He mumbled something under his breath. Sighed. Then yawned.

I got him all set up. Sat down across from him.

"Did you dream last night?" I asked.

"Yep," he said and nodded his head.

"What did you dream about?"

"Kids, and um..."

He shoveled cereal into his mouth. Chewed. Thought a while.

"Kids and...?" I said.

"Kids, and um, running!"

"Kids were running?"

He chomped more cereal. I waited.

"Kids running, and um..."

I stood up. Started water into the sink to do dishes leftover from last night.

"Were kids chasing you?"

"No, Daddy! Kids running!"

And we left it at that.

I did dishes. He ate cereal. I couldn't help but wonder what it was like to have two-year old dreams. If they were filled with balloons and candy. Ice cream and treats. Kids running everywhere. Laughing. All of them delighted with the simple act of Being.

I rummaged through the soapy water for an elusive knife until I stabbed myself in the hand.

"Shit," I said.

Little Man stopped chewing. I stopped moving. Blood dripped into the bubbles. And I could feel him staring at the back of my head.

I turned around and he was smiling.

"Aw shucks," he corrected me.

"Yes, aw shucks," I said.

It's these moments. The ones with Little Man and S.B. that make me realize what's important. They are my driving force. What keeps me flying straight. Without them I'd be just another cynic from my generation. All fueled up by things that do not matter. Believing that we're all lost and that life is meaningless and that we can do or say whatever we want without consequence. But lucky me, I found them. And they found me.

Every day is not a rose. Each moment is not bliss. But it's the commitment that me and S.B. have made to each other that keeps us here. And keeps us at this.

Staying strong. Growing. Keeping with this keepin' on. In our small house. On our small income. Each of us able to shift gears, regain traction. Recognize the goodness in the simple act of Being.

~ K.J.

(copyright © 2008 by K.J. Stevens)

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