A Boy’s Afternoon


The other day Nicole needed to pick up some new shirts, and she was going to get together with a friend of hers.  I suggested she take Saarah with her to do Girl-Things such as shopping at the mall.  I’m learning that I wont be able to teach both my children everything they need to know.  I can teach Tevye what it means to be a boy, and later in life, a man.  I can teach Saarah how to be a good person, but I don’t know the first thing about being a girl, much less a woman.  As a result of my lack of knowledge of the feminine arts, it makes imparting such knowledge on a younger generation much more difficult. At any rate, Nicole took Saarah on a girly adventure, and Tevye and I were left to our own devices.
We were trying to debate what to do with our Boys-Only-Afternoon.  Our first thought was that perhaps we would go and play some hockey, which would take place in the basement as our driveway isn’t paved.  I decided that a better idea might be to go for a walk, and perhaps to the playground, as it was such a nice day.  Tevye thought that this was a very good idea, so we got our shoes and coats on and off we went.  I’m going to try and tell the story of where we went and what we did as though I was seeing it through Tevye’s eyes.

Tatte opens the side door and tells me to go outside and down the steps.  I walk out the door and take Tatte’s hand, as the staircase is very big, and it’s a long way to the bottom.  When we get to the bottom Tatte tells me to look down the road and I see six very big boys playing hockey!  One of them takes the ball and goes up the left wing, he takes a big shot, but the goalie saves it.  Great Save!  But wait, the shooter got the rebound and with a quick backhand shot gets the ball over the goalie’s blocker-side shoulder and into the net!  YAAAAAAAAY!  HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES!!!  Tatte turns to me and says that we’re going to keep walking now.  Normally when we go for walks we have the stroller, and I get to ride on the back, but today we’re not taking it.  I hold Tatte’s hand and we start walking away from the big boys playing hockey in the street.  Tatte and I got to the street corner, looked both ways, and continued walking.  We walked and we walked, and we walked.  Along the way we saw many cars, trucks, vans, and even a motorcycle!  There were puppies, and people working in their gardens with all of the beautiful flowers, and even people playing tennis.  Tatte said that we were going to start walking towards the playground now.  We must be almost there now.  I asked Tatte if we could walk in a forest, and he said he will see what he can do.  We turned a corner and there were many, many trees.  Tatte found a forest to walk in! Yay!  We crossed the street to where all of the trees were, and we walked through a very large gate and into the forest.  There were trees everywhere and they were so tall they seemed to touch the sky.  In the middle of the forest there was a whole city.  Buildings were in between all of the trees.  I wondered why none of the buildings had any windows, and Tatte said that they had writting on them talking about people who lived a long time ago.
When we came out of the other side of the forest Tatte showed me beautiful flowers growing on the trees and even lifted me up so I could see them better.  We continued walking along the path and out in a field there were some grown-ups standing around, and a few of them were running quickly.  We walked up to the fence and they were playing baseball.  The man was hitting the ball with a bat and it flew through the air.  With a “Smack!” someone caught it in their glove, and then threw it back to the man with the bat.  We watched for a few more minutes and then we kept walking.  Tatte said we were almost at the playground now.  We came to the top of a mountain and down the other side were the swings and the slides!  We made it.  Phew, that was a close one.  Tatte and I raced all the way to the swings, and I won!

We played on the swings for a bit and then I wanted to go to the slides.  Tatte and I raced all the way to the slides and I won again!  Tatte said I should go and play with some of the kids who were already playing there.  I saw a girl who was running around and we started playing together.  She was very nice, and we had a really good time playing, but only a few minutes after I got there her Mama came and told her she had to go.  All the other kids had to go except for one boy who was much bigger than me.  He kept going places I couldn’t go easily, but I would always catch up.  He wasn’t a very happy boy, but he made me laugh.  He slid down the slide and fell off the bottom.  I laughed, but he didn’t like me laughing and told me to stop.  Then, he went and told his Mama that he wanted to go now.  Now it was just Tatte and me again, so Tatte came and played some more.  After we played on the great big slides for a while Tatte said that we had to go, but I didn’t want to.  Tatte said if I was good I could have some apple juice and a macaroon when we got home, so I said we could go now.  I wanted to go in all the houses we went past on the way home, but Tatte said “No, these aren’t our houses, so we can’t just waltz on in”.  I didn’t say anything about waltzing.  I don’t even know what waltzing is.  And I really don’t know what it matters if it’s our house or not.  I didn’t say I want to live there, I just want to go inside and see.

After a few minutes we were back home, but the whole trip was uphill this time and I was very tired when we got inside.  Tatte gave me some juice and a macaroon and then he read me a Winnie-The-Pooh story.  We had a nice time going to the park and seeing so many neat things along the way.

Now back to Moishe’s point of view.

What really happened on our walk?  Well, we were only out for about an hour and a half.  The people playing hockey were some kids who live on the street and they’re probably 10 years old.  We walked through the neighbourhood and when Tevye inquired about walking through a forest I had no idea where the hell I was going to take him.  He was pretty determined to get to a forest though.  The forest we ended up going through?  It was the cemetary next to the park.  This also explains the city that Tevye saw with all of the buildings with no windows which talked about people who lived a long time ago.  The trees, like all trees in Nova Scotia, really aren’t that big, and the cemetary is really quite small as well.  The people playing baseball were just a few adults, one hitting balls out into the field, which was just a field behind a middle school, where there were four or five people catching them.  The mountain that Tevye and I raced up was actually a small hill.  Although I let him win both races, I was amazed at how fast he’s getting.  The little girl he was playing so nicely with was only there for about two minutes before her mum came and told her she had to go.  The one kid that was left, and that Tevye was trying to play nicely with, had to have been the grumpiest child I’ve ever come across.  I was trying to encourage Tevye to play with the other kids, so he can develop social skills, but it’s tricky when the other kids are acting like this.

I really enjoy watching the kids explore the world around them with their sense of wonderment at everything they see.  To us the most mundane things in the world are a whole world of adventure to Tevye and Saarah.  You broke your glasses and the lens fell out?  No problem.  Now you can play with the glasses and hold the broken lens over one eye and suddenly you’re a pirate!  I try as best I can to see the wonder in the world around us.  I make a point of stopping to look at interesting flowers or insects.  G-d created an amazing world for us to live in, but we seem to think that once we’ve seen something it’s old news and therefore never needs to be looked at again.  I don’t know exactly when we lose our childhood sense of wonderment, but I really hope that I can encourage  my children through my actions to hang on to it as long as possible.

2 Responses to “A Boy’s Afternoon”
  1. Nicole says:

    Tevye has a wonderful imagination, I love going on adventures with him. Saarah learned all about shopping for very cute shoes! And yes, it took me that long to write the comment!

  2. Bob (grandad) Callow says:

    Another great read Moishe! Olease keep it up as you are very good at this writing thing. Who knows where it might take you!
    You and Nicole are really doing a good job of parenthood!
    Love from Nana and me.

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