Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bonny Bobby Shafto

Tomorrow is my son, Joshua Dylan (for Bob not Thomas) Bradley's 38th birthday.

We used to croon to him a nursery rhyme that goes like this:

Bobby Safto's gone to sea,
Silver buckle's on his knee
He'll come back and marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shafto'
Bobby Shafto's bright and fair,
Panning out his yellow hair,
He's my love forevermore,
Bonny Bobby Shafto.

And he was a toe-head, though you'd never guess it now as his brown hair, like mine, has hints of grey in it and his beard even moreso.

My beard was grey by 40 and I colored it for several years then gave into time.

I was 28 when he was born. Which makes me 66 now.

When I was 38, my father was 78, having been 40 when I was born. (Stuff like that has come to matter to me as I grow older.)

Our daughter, Jeremy Johanna (forever Mimi) turned 35 last month. I was 31 when she was born. The math doesn't change--I'm still 66.

People told us when we were much younger, that time would fly and to enjoy our children while we could. It would go away faster than we could imagine.

I thought those people were fools. Josh and Mimi's childhood seemed endless and stressful and wondrous at the same time.

But those people were right.

My 'princess' is 35. My Bonny Bobby Shafto is 38 tomorrow.

How in hell did that happen?

They are both amazing people. Mimi and Tim will come with us to an island off the coast of North Carolina in what?--10 days from now. We've been doing it for several years. It's the island we took Josh and Mimi too for much of their pre-adult lives. Mimi renewed it after she and Tim went there one year, reliving childhood or something. I keep hoping we can get Josh and Cathy and the girls down some year soon, before I'm in my dotage. Shortly after we get back we'll go to Baltimore and be with Josh and Cathy and Morgan and Emma and Tegan for a bit.

Sumi--Cathy's pit bull that was then Josh's pit bull and the Morgan and Emma and Tegan's pit bull--and through much of that, Bern and my pit bull, won't be there. At a great age, Sumi died last week. The last 6 months she had to be carried downstairs to go to the bathroom. And she was the sweetest dog I've ever known. Even in her dotage, when she saw Bern and me she would be terribly animated and young again for a while.

We loved her deeply and mourn her greatly.

Which is not just an aside, but the glue of a family relationship. You become attached to your children's pets just as you become attached to your children's mates and your children's children.

I sometimes wonder: how can Josh and Mimi be that old? Which causes me to ponder 'how can I be this old?'

Time flies when you're having fun....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.