One day last week, Milo’s lunchbox got left at school: a source of great angst. The next day, Jason sent him with lunch in a brown paper sack, on which he didn’t merely write Milo’s name, but drew this great smiling dinosaur. So every day since, despite the fact that the lunchbox has been located, Milo has insisted on a sack lunch, which Jason has illustrated in some new, fantastical way. Aliens. Ninja Turtles. BATLUNCH. Jason isn’t concerned that the now-located lunchbox sits unused, or that we waste paper sacks. He wants to delight Milo. The disaster of a lost lunchbox is now a daily dose of joy.
When Lucy was leaving for camp last week, she was deeply afraid of being homesick. While I was wringing my hands, coaching Lu through positive visualizations and affixing labels on shampoo bottles, Jason had the solution: talisman bracelets. He had Lu choose four matching beads — Jason and I would each wear one to represent her, and she’d wear two: like us on either side of her. And it worked: all she needed to manage was a little magic.
Delight? Magic? Who has time for that shit amid the schedules, the breakfasts, the dreaded car rides together, the daily injustice of who touched whose Legos?! [Please ask to see my treatment of a family drama loosely based on “The Wire.”]
Jason does. He instinctually says “yes." Every day.
Happy (belated) Father’s Day to the keeper of delight and joy in this joint.