Its funny, if a tragedy can be so named. The Olibear is 3 year old we and talk about how much we would like to slow him down a little bit. Not stop him from growing up, just slow the process down so he will be our precious little boy longer. In an odd way I think I am dealing with his growing up worse than you are, probably because I have always been keen to see entropy around me, but never had anything to really make it personal before. You are I are growing older together, but it seems as though the Olibear is on a different journey into maturity. I know in my heart this is good, but still there is a thorn in my heart when I put him to sleep and think that tomorrow he will be older, closer to that time when he wont want me to call him the Olibear, wont want hugs and kisses, wont want me to help him put his train tracks together or read to him. A time when my perfect baby boy will become a man all his own. This morning in traffic we played the Pickle game and he giggled and asked me over and over again to keep doing it. Part of me longs to just freeze time and remain there in that moment of rare and perfect joy. To tell you the truth I am tearing up as I write this.
But then you read an article like this and you realize it would be a curse, not a blessing for our beloved son not to grow up. How hard must it be for these parents to watch their child pass through time unchanged, never to hear a first word, or see a first step. In my melancholy I worry sometimes that I wont be around to see my son marry, or have children of his own and I despair in my selfishness, and I know it to be selfishness. But how horrible for these parents to know their child will never grow up to find a soul mate as I did with you. What despair they must feel knowing their own precious child will never grow up to have children and share in the joy of children. I am moved to tears when I wish that my own son could slow down but then realize these parents, so very like you and I in their devotion to their own child will grow old and die as is proper for all mankind, but leave behind a still small child locked in a prison of youth.
One of my favorite stores has always been the Picture of Dorian Grey. I always admired Dorian, for his never aging even as I despised him for using unending youth to fill the years with ego and self interest. But now, as a father I understand more than ever before how horrible such a life would be.
I will still put my son to bead tonight, lay next to him and cuddle in my own quiet desperation to cling to every moment of his youth. I cant change who I am and I loathe entropy. I detest change and honestly, I fear mortality as if it were a fearsome predator stalking me through a primal forest. But maybe tonight I will think what it would be like for Oliver to live a life unchanging and will find some comfort knowing that while I will someday lose my little boy I give to the world a good man.