Thursday, October 13, 2011

little ones

Watching students type their midterms brings back memories of all the many years I myself was studying at one university or another (from 1969 until 1987, with only a year off somewhere in there).  My father used to comment that I was heading towards being a career student. I don’t think he was pleased.

If I ride a moped, am I in fact imitating studenthood? I don’t know of a single faculty member who rides a moped. Even as I have no interest in upgrading toward a full motorcycle.

Right now, I am still incapable of riding anything. Ed, who typically does not baby the fallen around him, was sympathetic enough to chauffer me in to work...

...then home again. I come out and the limo is waiting.


But I know that he himself would never stand for such dependencies. "Help me out, please" are not words I'm likely to hear from him.

We drive to the Fitchburg farmers market. Ed wants squeaky curds, I want tomatoes. Most every farmer is showing off the last of the squashes now. Big ones, little ones.


I wonder sometimes -- what would Ed have been like had he been a father? (A purely theoretical speculation... Ed, by being Ed, would never opt to take on parenting responsibilities.) Would he have nudged his children toward independence so that they would be as unencumbered by need as he himself is? Would they have build houses out of sheepsheds? Spent hours figuring out why a router isn’t working? And if they fell and broke a leg or sprained an ankle would he hustle them out anyway, to shovel snow when the storms came?


Dinner’s still of the thrown together kind tonight. I am sore and movement is difficult. I sauté cauliflower with garlic and red peppers. I fry eggs, make a salad with the last of the home grown tomatoes.

It’s evening. Ed installs a motion sensor by the front door. When Isis the cat comes by, the thing rings to high heaven so that we know he’s there, waiting for us to open the door.

I clean the dishes, we settle in to watch a movie – the Weeping Camel. The midterms from this afternoon aren’t printed yet. I have a last evening of no work. The sound sensor lets out a shrill beep. My cell phone is ringing too – it’s a daughter calling. I have to smile. Our children are looking for us. We both jump up to respond.