Enough gushing...here's his first guest post. __________________________________________________________________________________
Aurora and Dad took in some vintage this weekend. (That’s me: Dad.) You might have gotten used to thinking of me as “Q”, since that’s how I get referred to here. I’ve got a funny kind of tu-vous stupid hang-up about it though, and would prefer that you wait until we’ve been introduced and shared a conversation before you start calling me that out loud. Names before nicknames, something like that. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
Well, anyway, this weekend, Aurora and I shared some vintage of a slightly different sort. For the most part here, she’s in front of the camera, or Amanda is, and I’m behind it. I can tell the pictures that I took. Not from the lighting, or the composition, or the exposure. Just from the look on their faces. That’s a good look to be under.
This weekend, we both watched something that Albert Lamorisse photographed of his children. The clothing is all circa 1956, and we drift and run and climb around Ménilmontant in the heights of Paris. I think about children, and growing up, and how to hang on to the best part of a child’s innocent imagination. I even get a little nostalgic for Paris (though I've never been) when we get taken thrifting in the middle of the story. Amanda would love to do that. I wonder if we’d even make it to the Louvre or La Pomme d’Eve? Aurora shares two things that she thinks about as she watches (she’s getting so verbal now, really trying to tell us and her sisters what’s up). The first is “ki-y”, when Pascal stops on his way to school to pet one. Soon though, all she wants to see and talk about is “boon”, or rather, “BOON!”
I guess I should back up a couple days to help you see how we got here (you probably saw some pictures earlier this week). Tuesday, we went out to dinner at Joe’s, someplace Amanda and I went way back when we first started dating. Little kids get balloons there. Aurora has always loved balloons. Let’s face it, who doesn’t? But this is the first one that she’s gotten since she became so involved with seeing what she can do in the world. I can see her measuring it up, trying to see what she can make it do, laughing when it surprises her, and then going back and making it do that same thing over and over while she laughs at it. I could watch her doing those things all day.
We bring the balloon home with us, and I’m careful to hold the ribbon just below where Aurora is holding it as we walk inside. I didn’t need to, because there’s no way she’s letting go of it. Later that evening, we’re going out onto the back porch. Aurora wants to come with us, but she also wants to bring her balloon, so I make a loop on the end of the ribbon, and pull it through itself so that I can tighten it on her wrist. Did I mention that she’s getting really clever about things, and that she wants to be in control now? So, of course the moment comes when she’s saying “boon!” more anxiously, because she’s gotten the ribbon off her wrist and the balloon is floating up through the tree over the back porch and out of sight. We tried to get to where we could at least see it, but it was already gone.
Getting back inside, I feel I need to find something to take her mind off the balloon, or else she’s going to be asking about it, and I don’t have any answers for the questions she’s trying to ask. Here’s one of her favorite books, we should read that together. Oh, right, I forgot the two pages in the middle of the book about balloons. You know what? Maybe Yo Gabba can work its magic. Pick an episode at random…get it started…yeah, this’ll work. Wait, what’s DJ Lance giving out at the beginning? Yes, you guessed it: balloons. Well, at least Brobee’s got a balloon.
I stopped on my way home the next day to pick up a mylar balloon at the grocery store. I think there was something else we needed too, but that was secondary to getting the balloon. Aurora is always excited to see me when I get home, even if she’s tired and cranky. She was that evening too, but I faded into the background as soon as the balloon was pulled through the door after me. For the next two days, she held on to it no matter where she went in the house and no matter what else she was holding. There was at least one anxious moment when she was struggling with how to hold her milk with both hands without having to let go of the balloon. She figured it out.
Which brought us to Sunday morning, and my searching the instant selections on Netflix for something I was pretty sure wouldn’t be there. But still…it might…in fact, it is. It’s kind of a crapshoot, going back to check out something you remember liking way back when. It’s hard to know whether you’ve changed too much, or gotten too cynical, or maybe just smarter. Speed Racer is pretty doofy, Yellow Submarine is still pretty cool, Looney Tunes (the classics, not the watered down later versions) are hilarious.
And The Red Balloon is still beautiful.