Monday was -26 celsius, yesterday was 12 celsius. Today back down to -12c before hitting 10c tomorrow. Yesterday it rained and there were brackish lakes of melted snow everywhere. This morning it’s covered by thin ice.
“Woooouuuhoooouuuh.” Noah goes running across the Great Lakes of thin ice.
“So cool. it feels like I’m in a sexy film. Oh yeaaaaaaahhhhh!”, as he picks up speed. Each step cracks sonorously before being instantly filled with water. Of course his boots are also filling with water. And I should tell him to stop since I know he”ll spend the whole eight hours with soaked socks at Day Camp.
Oh quiet, mom! Let him get wet and have fun. How often does this happen?
Wet and fun means different things at different ages. To me it’s naked human moistures intermingled and shared in abundant and delightful variations.
Really dangerous thin ice.
Noah is now trekking on the dry sidewalk between patches of ice. His soaked boots leave wet footsteps…shadowy reproaches to my bad parenting.
“That is soooo fun.” He lopes towards the next patch. Unfortunately the water is too shallow, so it’s frozen solid. It barely cracks as he trudges across.
“Aaaawwww-unh. It’s way more fun when it’s scary cool, like when it breaks and I have to move real fast.”
Thin ice is cool. Uncertain outcomes. Risk. One day I’ll tell him all about cost/benefit analysis and how I learned by sinking into dark, deep lakes with thin ice.
Of course, he knows all about it… he’s my son and I chose his Mother, the dictionary definition of thin ice.
“Dad, I am going to have to get a wife.”
Dry pavement has made him suddenly serious.
“Yeah, because you know if I’m working and making money and she’s working and making money well it’s much better if we live together, because like we only need one TV and one living room and one bed, yeah…”
And you sleep naked so you even save on pajamas.
“…so my money could like pay for rent and electricity and stuff like that and she could pay for vacations. And we could even like put money in the bank for like a kid and a car and stuff like that.”
I nod. Serious economics always strikes me dumb…pun fully intended. I should say something.
“Oh yeah….thin ice….wooouuuuhhhooooouuu!”
He rushes off to run across a perfect patch of crackling ice, swirling water, danger.
There you go. Thin ice is for fun, then you get serious on dry land. Get married, make kids, buy a condo, sell, buy a bigger one…
I have woohooou-ed without regard, using dry land only as a runway to slide across ever thinner, ever more vast stretches of fragile ice and deep waters. Like a polar bear in the Arctic I found myself floating on a shrinking territory.
“Dad…. not everybody who has kids is poor, right?”
“No, of course not. Especially if you’re two to help out, even if a couple separates and both contribute time and money, you’re not poor.”
“Dad, are we poor?”
“Money-wise, yes. But we live really well, have everything we need to have fun, love.”
“And we went to Italy and to Cuba and to Matinicus Island and I have so many toys.”
“Oooooouuuuhhh!” He charges a new patch of ice.
Thin, crackling, enjoyable…in part because there’s dry land just after.