By Aaron Smith
I'm almost forty and just understanding my father
doesn't like me. At thirteen I quit basketball, the next year
refused to hunt, I knew he was disappointed, but never
thought he didn't have to like me
to love me. No girls. Never learned
to drive a stick. Chose the kitchen and mom
while he went to the woods with friends who had sons
like he wanted. He tried fishing -- a rod and reel
under the tree one Christmas. Years I tried
talking deeper, acting tougher
when we were together. Last summer
I went with him to buy a tractor.
In case he needs help, Mom said. He didn't look at me
as he and the sales guy tied the wheels to the trailer, perfect
boy-scout knots. Why do I sometimes wish I could be a man
who cares about cars and football, who carries a pocketknife
and needs it? It was January when he screamed: I'm not
a student, don't talk down to me! I yelled: You're not smart enough
to be one! I learned to fight like his father, like him, like men:
the meanest guy wins, don't ever apologize.
We had a pretty quiet Monday. Paul had to work in the morning and Adam had his last driving lesson in the afternoon, so I did chores and finally got most of the holiday cards in the mail. Daniel got some good news about his grades; he was worried about a couple of finals but didn't get less than an A-, and he's getting an A+ in one class.
It rained all day, so I didn't get a lot of exercise, though I did goof off with Adam playing with Legos (ever since Deborah got me that Lego mug, I've been hunting for appropriate Lego figures, many of which were buried in a big bin from which son made me a spaceship while I was looking for little swords and hair). I even put together a Snape.
We all watched Snake Eyes, which the kids hadn't seen and which still has an awesome opening tracking shot; it's one of Nic Cage's better performances and Sinise and Gugino are good as always. Here are a few pics from Kiparoo Farm in the snow the weekend before last, both the wool and woolens and the sheep that make them possible: