Going for a walk in the rain.

Yesterday, you asked,
Your big brown eyes barely visible behind your smile,
“Hey, today we should wax our gloves
And go play baseball in the park!
Hey, Katha-butt!
Today, we should have a bonfire!”
I laughed at your reference to our inside joke,
But said no,
I was tired. My neck hurt. My wrist hurt.
I just wanted to relax.
Your face went slack, the light left your eyes.
You trudged away in utter disappointment.

Last night, I had a dream.
A dream that I was late.
I kept looking at the clock and thinking,
“Oh, I have time.”
Until time ran away, never to be heard from again.

This morning, I woke up.
My window was open, and the rain was coming down so hard
It was splashing in my eyes.
Temporarily blinded,
I sat and thought.

I have been gone for two years.
I have watched you change,
Becoming more cynical, more serious…
You’re growing up, Noah.
You no longer care for Spongebob or Mario games.
It’s all Call of Duty and innuendos now.
You’ve been growing up without me recently.
I missed you so much when I was gone.
Much-ly, as you’d say.
And now that I’m here, I still have no time for you?
When will I have time again?
When you’re getting married?
When you’re 50, and I call to see how you are?
Will you remember these days that I didn’t have time to hang out?
Will you no longer like playing baseball
And having bonfires in the back?
Will there be an awkward silence on the phone,
Because I never took the time to know you as a child,
Why would you take the time to know me as an adult?

This morning, I got out of bed in a panic.
We have to go for a walk in the rain, I say.
I throw on my clothes and yell into your room for you to get dressed,
Because we’re going for a walk in the rain!
You jump up excitedly, eyes barely visible,
A fire behind your smile.
Mom yells, “Finish your homework first!”
I hurry you through it and we run outside.

It was too late. It stopped raining.

But maybe we can still go for a walk in the sun.

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