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Dear little boy

published: 2010-11-08

Dear little boy. I announce, “we’ll tell your teacher we’re going to London.” I say it with excitement, as if it were my first time. As if I am your age and going to London is something grand and special. But you are putting on your shoes and don’t seem to hear it. You are angry at your socks because they itch. After the shoes have gone on and off and on and off again, I sigh. “We’ll be late now,” I say, in my usual voice.
We make it to school, and only slightly pressed on time. Jacket off, schoolbag on a pin, school shoes on. Teacher is busy dividing his attention between parents and kids. You start to play with a friend, rough and tumble. So I chat with a parent. The bell goes and I glance over at you. You are in total despair. Big, fat tears roll down your flushed face. You sob and therefore cannot speak. I take you in my arms. “The bell has gone and…” is all you manage to say.
The bell has gone which means I have to leave while we haven’t told the teacher about London yet. I figured out the analogy. I walk over to the teacher with you in my arms and say, “teacher, we are going to London on Thursday.”
The teacher acknowledges, but isn’t as impressed as you may have hoped. As I made it out to be in my childlike excitement.
How many times, I wonder, have I not drawn the right conclusions about what caused you such distress? I remember now, that I promised to go looking for ants with you. We somehow never came to doing it. And yesterday, you fell asleep with your plastic microscope in your hand. I really must go looking for ants.

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