fighting the sun

March 29, 2012

Subtly, in between moments of parental bliss and terror, why why why creeps inescapably around inside my head, drumming the beat of the greater purpose of parenthood. Why do we do this? Not just 'we' as humans, me. Why did I do this? What is the end game here, once the brilliant rush is past?

I want to raise a self-assured happy adult, that much is obvious. But are any of us so genuinely self sacrificing that in the darkest parts of our hearts we can say the only thing we're truly hoping to get out of this extended experiment in selflessness is the development of a creature that will kick our battered faces to the curb and without a backwards glance? I grip the edges of that reality with my hands and wrestle around with it in the dirt.

Could I submit and embrace that knowledge, looming so darkly over me, if it wins the war? Is parenting only a contract job counting down the days to obsolescence? Is there any alternate outcome my helplessly broken machine just can't piece together? Is it the only possible ending to this story?

After work Jude and I pulled into the driveway and unloaded ourselves out into the sunshine. I sat on the pavement as he ran around me in circles with his foam sword and a pair of pliers and out of nowhere he invented a new game, because he invents things now and that's amazing.

"The sun GOT MY MOUTH! It got me!" He thrust his sword into the sky with vigor and out rang a battle-cry, "FIGHT THE SUN! FIGHT THE SUN!" We spent the next twenty minutes attempting to bring down the sun's callous reign of terror. It was an epic, hilarious, but in the end entirely futile battle.

Maybe this is too.

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