South Carolina clings to the summer like a screaming toddler. Even the trees look tired of being green, but the air keeps sweating well into October. Today has been the first real Fall day with cooler temperatures, a steady drizzle of rain, and leaves dancing on the breeze, the first wave of the annual deciduous blood letting.
My daughter understands her maternal calling. She is of course not yet a mother. But she is practicing, training for the day when the glorious calling of Motherhood descends upon her home. For now she has a brood of baby dolls, and she takes this very seriously. My wife tells me that a day ago, our daughter spotted her brother in the midst of a some sort of military campaign which included that bombardment of one her babies. With the powerful maternal instinct welling up inside she burst through the ranks of knights, airplanes, and several disoriented dragons to the rescue of her baby. Grasping the child in her arms, Felicity patted her baby gently, caressing her forehead and even giving her several small pecks to her checks. Carrying the baby doll to the nearest shelter, my daughter gently laid the doll on her back on the couch. Then with that same maternal fidelity lifted both hands in the air and struck down with two fingers directly in the eyes of the baby doll. It is for this reason that I fear for our next child.
My son has announced that our next child is a boy. Lo, he has also spoken and told us that his name is ‘Mark’. When he first announced this, my wife and I were quite astonished and yet also fairly pleased. As it happens, my father’s name is Mark, and we thought, huh, I guess he remembered that and wants to name the next baby after his Opa. Well, it wasn’t long after when we were again on the subject of the baby and baby names, that we asked him what ‘Mark’s’ middle name ought to be. My son, playing with knights and animals and other various weapons and accessories, with the most casual, matter-of-fact voice stated, ‘Knopfler.’ He went on to explain that it was his full expectation to have another brother after ‘Mark Knopfler’ whose name would be ‘Johnny Cash.’ Thus far the wisdom of our three year old son.