In which case I will be chief cheerleader, dedicated craft services provider, head pencil sharpener and pig Friday. When my son arrived from Korea, a close friend who does not have children said to me, “You are now a member of the biggest club in the world, the club of parents.” Actually, not to be nitpicky or anything but the absolute biggest club in the world is the world of children, seeing as everyone is a child, while not everyone is a parent. But then, to put an even finer point on it, what kind of club includes everyone? That is not a club, that is the human race. I do my best to be a good member, in spite of my reservations.
So yeah, if you want to join a club guaranteed to turn your heart to a super ball, bouncing to higher heights and lower lows than you ever thought possible, or than you would ever have wished, join the club of parents. You may think you have suffered, been in love, had your heart broken. That is kidstuff compared to the exquisite, excruciating pain of raising a child. That super ball does not bounce when it hits a surface, it shoots straight to the core, a hot burning ball of love tracing a fiery path of ache. Stunningly accurate.
Over winter break we watched October Sky. As Homer Hickam descended for the first time into the coal mine on a dark, cold night he looked up to see Sputnik just passing overhead. “He’s going down when he wants to go up,” said my son. So it is sometimes when you hope to ascend with your child – a planned event, perfectly chosen gift, meal prepared for an occasion – and instead, your child takes you down, down, down to a place where you hunch, cover your head and mine for the strength to get through this with grace.