Oscar’s perennial question of late is “WHERE’S EDGAR?” And that’s how he says it. With extraordinary volume and extraordinary exuberance and at times extraordinary worry.
Edgar has always been a boy on the move. And yesterday at his back-to-school assembly he spent it running–laps, in circles, around the bleachers, inside and outside. The rest of the audience sat, and Edgar ran–for roughly 40 minutes.
I looked around and thought about what the rest of the audience might expect me to do in this situation. With this particular child. I am at an age when I tend not to give much thought to what people think of me, but I do consider what they may think of my children.
When Edgar passed by where I was sitting, I scooped up his 38-pound frame and held him in my arms. I asked him to stop running. To stop making noise. I told him that his attending the cookout that would follow was in jeopardy if he did not settle down. If he did not stop disturbing others.
And I felt him push against me. And it broke my heart that I was holding him against his will, that I was keeping him from doing what he needed to do. And I thought for a second about times I have been places and not behaved like the others in the audience–the time I read a book about Zen gardening at a hockey game, the time I knit through two sets at a small jazz club in Greenwich Village, the time I fell asleep at a very loud concert in Providence.
I let him go. And I let him run. And he went to the cookout.
He’s six and he needed to run–even when no one else was running. Just as I needed to read when no one else was reading, knit when no one else was knitting, and sleep when no one else was sleeping.
More alike than different and two souls who found each other for a reason. You inspire me, Edgar, and remind me of what is important–and what is not. Be exactly who you are, now and always. And know that I will never hold you back. Never.