I’m spending the day going through the ratpile that is my office. It stands in marked contrast to the orderly rest of the house. A psychologist would probably find this marked contrast interesting, but we won’t go there. In the many piles of papers and books are journals from the few years I kept one, back in the 90’s. I know better than to start leafing through, but leaf through I do. From 4 November 1996, when my son was five:
* * *
At the playground my son and his friend swing high. Higher and higher; they pump their legs straight out and arch their backs.
“I’m swinging up to heaven!” she says.
“When we die I’ll see you up in heaven!” says my son.
They laugh. They pump higher. She wears two hearing aids, blue-green, one in each ear. She looks at my lips when I speak to her. She lives directly across the street from the playground. There’s a yellow Deaf Child sign on the street.
They laugh. They pump higher. When they’re high enough they leap off the swings and land in the sand. They stretch out on their backs with early November sunshine making them squint.
“When I die I’ll see you up in heaven!”
They laugh. They keep on laughing.
* * *