You want to know something that bugs me?
I sound just like every other doting parent when I talk about Sebastian. That doesn't really bother me all that much, though, because - how shall I put this? - I know that unlike most of those parents, I'm right
. The boy is pretty amazing.
On Saturday Sebastian and I went with Teri to pick up a stray cat from the animal hospital and deliver him to the animal shelter, where Teri was volunteering that day. The cat was a beauty
, a young male with orange-striped fur and a white belly - amazingly like Sarah. I speculated that he might be her brother, and my sharp-eared boy picked up on that. Soon after he told me that the cat was
Sarah's brother, and that she missed him.
There wasn't a lot I could say about that.
So we dropped Teri off, and I took Sebastian over to The Shire bookstore in Franklin, MA. Time flew by; we looked at books (and read some), Sebastian played with toys, and when my commuter train went by (first outbound, and twenty minutes later inbound) Sebastian jumped into my arms and watched with delight from on top of my shoulders.
We found an interesting book for Sebastian: Mouse & Mole's All-Weather Train Ride
(or something like that). It was the only train book we could find that he didn't already have. It's kind of neat; a typical story for young children about a mouse and a mole on a train, but on the bottom of each page is an explanation of the weather and environment that's featured on that page. Neat!
As for myself, I found Homer Price
by Robert McCloskey. It's a young-adult book, but I still found it very enjoyable. McCloskey is probably best known for Make Way for Ducklings
, of course. Lots of great illustrations, just as I remembered.
There was also a book which was frankly kind of a surprise. Quick explanation:
There's a story which has stuck in my head for a long
time. The problem was, I couldn't remember the title or author. I thought
I'd read it in one of those great collections of mystery and horror stories for young adults that were published under Alfred Hitchcock's name, but I wasn't sure. I'd recently searched Google for what I remembered of the dialog, but came up blank.
But the bottom shelf of an out-of-the-way bookcase at the store had a number of those Hitchcock books. So I picked up one at random, hoping against hope that I might find the story. I was out of luck, of course; none of the titles in the table of content looked like likely candidates. One was a bare possibility, but a quick check confirmed that it wasn't the story.
But there was
a story by one of my favorite authors, Lord Dunsany. The title, In A Dim Room
, didn't ring any bells, which was unusual; I know most Dunsany. So I took a look.
You guessed it - it was the very story I had been looking for! Naturally I bought it.
I'd love to tell you about that story, but I'd feel really guilty if I were to spoil it for anyone. It's really memorable, and packs quite a wallop. In fact, it would make a HELL of an element for a scenario!
By the time we left almost three hours had passed. We could have stayed even longer, but it was almost 1pm and we'd have to pick up Teri at 2.
On the way home Sebastian suddenly became extremely hungry, and demanded weiners. We'd had them for dinner the night before at his insistence; he doesn't run our lives, incidentally, but yesterday we were kind of up for them anyway, and personally it has never bothered me to eat the same meal twice in a row, if I like it. Besides, it was a quick meal, we didn't have much time.
So for the first time Sebastian ate at a counter. We were right in the front of the store (New York Weiners); to tell the truth, we were kind of in the way (I asked if it was all right for us to sit there before we did, though). Sebastian was cute as hell, but also amazingly good. He ate two weiners and some fries. He discussed how french fries were made with the owners (his guess was "by a BIG french fry machine"). No mess, no disasters; he's really growing up. It felt great to sit at a counter with my red-headed little prodigy.
It's late, so just one more story. Today, Sunday, Teri and I raced against each other in Mario Kart on the Nintendo 64 to amuse Sebastian. Teri played Princess Peach, and I played Mario. This wasn't a fair contest; I'm damn
good at Mario Kart (and at Super Mario World, for that matter). Even though I held back a bit, I won handily (fortunately Teri is used to me and my exasperating ways
). On the screen, Mario raised his arms in triumph with a "Woohoo!", while Peachy covered her eyes in sorrow.
"Look, Sebastian! Princess Peach is crying!", I said (he has a bit of a crush on Princess Peach).
"No, Dad!" (his voice dropped to a confiding whisper) "it's just a cartoon!"
Here's what bugs me: I could never convey the precise way
he said that. Which means that I can't explain why Teri and I broke up laughing for the next several minutes. And to tell you the truth, I'm afraid that in time I won't remember
wonderfully cute moments like that.
If I could, I'd record every precious minute on film.