Always something new, and another forgotten memory awakened when it comes to raising children. Same way with life deep down in a dungeon or a mine, come to think of it, but more in your face up here in the sunshine. I taught 12-month old Gumba to smell roses. It took three days, one lesson/day. The first day she mostly watched, maybe moved her head toward the large lavender rose slightly, tried to grab and eat it. The second day she moved her head toward the rose, and then tried to lick it. The third day she swung her body forward, lifted her nose slightly, put her eyes at half mast and inhaled deeply, like on a Hallmark card. How wonderful is that? Roses will ever smell sweeter.
I had the boom box cranked up on the rear deck, and was heading into the house for a quick breather. Gumbo, almost four now, had been watching me dance to the Mixtress' crazy break beats from his upstairs bedroom window, and grabbed me as I came in. "Let's go back outside Daddy, let's go."
I smiled down at him, "You want to dance?"
"No. I want to run!"
So we set into running in tight circles on the deck in our bare feet, to the tune of an 11-minute version of Sugar Magnolia (Dick's Picks Volume 14). The fun and hollering caught the attention of Gumba, who I quickly picked up and tucked under my arm like a football. We ran and ran until we were all out of breath, and then ran more. As the Grateful Dead are want to do, the song had a complete silence in it for a time, three minutes before the actual end. We thought it was over, and so when it started up again at the beginning it made me laugh, and we all had to keep running to the bitter end or accept defeat. Ever since her time that day as a football, Gumba has put her outside arm forward when I carry her, like she's flying or pointing, waving if we pass people. That gives me that feeling that I'm flying when I walk with her, makes me walk faster. "Up, up, and away".