Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

21.10.11

The four-year-old.

Four is grown up, but not. Mr Four is a small and generally self-possessed gentleman who suffers occasional unfortunate fits of uncontrollable laughter. But Mr Four has dignity. It is the last great age of childhood before they go to school and get corrupted and bring home the schoolyard’s whining jargon, and want what the others want.

In the morning he comes to the corner and holds his fat arms around my neck and kisses me. Then he lets go, and waves, and runs brightly back around the corner and I go away, and when I come back at night he is always asleep, his eyes tight slits sloping down and his mouth half open, like his baby photo.

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Years ago, there was another four-year-old. He was just the same. I must have been twelve, off to school. It is winter, 1969. He comes to the gate with the same self-possession. The same kiss, the same arms around the neck. I wonder now if I was as patient with my brother as I am with his nephew, my son.

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Thomas turns five this weekend. And this week, the baby walked.

5 comments:

A Melbourne Girl said...

Lovely stuff KH...
Happy birthday Thomas...I remember reading about you as you as a new member of this big world and now you're a little man.
Lovely
Lesley

Martin L Kennedy said...

I'll meet you at your gate Monday morning and we can relive those moments!!

But it is true four is a key age. My first memories really only start at four onwards.

kitchen hand said...

Thank you on behalf of Thomas, Lesley.

So do mine, Martin. There are songs that take me right back to that age. The wireless (a cream electric bakelite HMV that sat where the microwave is now) must have been going non-stop. Wooden Heart does it every time.

kitchen hand said...

On second thoughts it was an AWA. The red leather-cased portable one was the HMV. That sat in the garage among wood shavings.

White Dove said...

a lovely post KH...sent it on to my daughter