Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bottoms Up.

"Mom, is that is what is going to happen to me? Is my bottom going to be hairy like that?”

My son sounds more than a little concerned and I can see why. In the midst of an autobot-and-decepticon bonanza, our 51-inch TV screen has been consumed by a generous display of Agent Simmon’s g-stringed buttocks, milky white and follicularly endowed. I admire John Turturro’s acting chops, just not this high-definition view of them.  

“No, sweetheart.”

“How do you know?”

“I know because your bottom will be just like your Dad’s, and his wasn’t hairy.”

I cannot believe I am having this conversation. But I am, because my son has been going through his own transformation. A transformation that seems to be happening overnight and that my motherhood and bank account are not ready to take on. His knees are no longer covered by the cargo shorts I bought a size too large four months ago and the remaining pair of shoes might last the month. Putting off buying new helmets and pads for hockey and football is no longer an option and there are awkward conversations about deodorant and privacy. Doors that once were never closed now are, and he ate six bagels for breakfast.


From the moment my husband died my son devoured every memory, picture and story, a child’s curation of a life larger than the one that had been lost. He doesn’t know that his gestures and phrases are flashes of the man in the boy left behind, that when he holds the door for us every morning it tells me that the values of the father live on in the son.

Someday he will understand these gifts, but a young boy’s image of his father is defined in literal terms. Did he like tomatoes and carrots? What movie was his favorite? Did he drive fast? What color did he like? Did his hair look like mine? What was his favorite word? What did he say to me in the mornings? Are my toes like his?    

Which is why I am sitting here discussing the finer points of John Turturro’s naked ass.

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