But I can see now a world in which fear of risk, the unknown and
unfamiliar, makes bullies of people, and bullies limit the lives of others.
I have been the bully in some fashion, with my insistence on order at the
cost of exploration. This gives me pause.
And yet my children have resisted me. I have done this at least: I have
raised them to question me.
In the weeks after their visit, the children call and text with news of
their summers. On the river, some of the customers tip well, others not
so much. My daughter flipped out of a raft in a dangerous current and
got scared. The shoulder is sore, but taped up. In Los Angeles, some of
the right people are interested in my son’s work, but a bird got into the
apartment where he’s house sitting. How do you get rid of a bird? he
asks. I don’t know. Open the window? Where will he live next month?
He doesn’t know.
A child is time, both past and future, embodied in bone and blood.
We make them; they make us. The world spins. “Yes,” I say when the
children call and text, “go, go, go.” I say to them what I do not say to my
chickens, whose world I still order: “Fly.”