The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

25 November 2008

Shoes on

A good day for Number Four Nephew is being able to say goodbye to everyone…because he’s leaving. Usually he’s the one being left, and it makes him so sad. At the age of two, his world is bounded by the closed front door -- a fact not easily understood by his big, adventurous heart .
When he’s the one staying behind, he hovers nearby, beginning his goodbyes long before people are out the door; once they are outside, his cries of farewell become louder, and often include tears. He’ll stand at the open door, calling after them when they’re long out of sight. It tears at my heart every time.
So, it’s such a joy to be able to take him with me when I go out. Calling for him to get his shoes signals a treat and lights up his face like nothing else can. He’ll say it over and over again: “Get shoes on? Get shoes on?” And he’s reaching for the door handle long before I’m ready to head out.
He gives all he’s got to these goodbyes; he wants everyone to know he is going outside, it’s his turn, he is the one leaving this time. He holds my hand as we take the one little step down from porch to sidewalk, and, clutching my finger, he calls out “Bye, Mummy! Bye! Bye, Mummy!” From that point on, it doesn’t matter to him where we go: he’s outside!


  1. Oh, I love it! Jake does the same and is always anxious to be the one to "go out"!

    When he was a year old, one night after supper, he started bringing me articles of outdoor clothing from his bench at the front door, one at a time. A hat, a mitten, a boot, another hat and so on...

    I'm ashamed to say it took me a few minutes to figure out that he wanted to go outside. Despite the cold and the snow that night, out we went and he had a blast.

    You're such a beautiful writer - thanks for sharing.


  2. I have never seen anyone quite so alive to the joy of "going" as him. He just melts me with his cuteness! I love it when he yells "Night night, Nicky!!" at the monitor when he hears the Winnie-the-Pooh mobile cranked up! What a kid!!!

  3. Carly, Jake sounds like quite a character...and an adventurer to boot.
    (and thanks, by the way: years ago you told me I should write, and now here I am!)

    100acrewood (can I admit I know your identity?)"Night night,Nicky" is right up there with "Yes....mummy", and the sweet voiced "All done now, mummy?" drifting down the stairs after his nap. Moments like that add sweetness to the bitterest day.

  4. Excellent! I don't remember saying that, but I'm sure I did as I've certainly thought it often.

    I get a little excited when I see that you and 100acrewood have a new post up.