b Papa Dog's Blog: The Big Lebowski

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Big Lebowski

Here it is, the Big Lebowski, so named at the suggestion of Mama Dog, who is alluding to that movie’s terminal position in my year-long movie streak of 1997-1998. You post for 365 days and what do you get? Another year older and (as it happens) slightly less deeply in debt.*

I have several things I’ve been meaning to write about all week, only to find myself too pooped to post in the evenings. Maybe, by way of anniversary celebration, I’ll pop back in to do those posts later tonight. In case not, I’ll stick with this one.

It’s been a slow day at the dirt farm, so I’ve had the chance to TCO a little B. When I vanished briefly this morning to make a field trip to the post office, I passed by the daycare on the ground floor of my building. A passel of three-year-olds was being taken out for a perambulation round the plaza. There was a teacher at the front and teacher at the back and in between a line of kids all holding on to a curious kind tether – a rope with padded hand grips at regular intervals. Each child had hold of one of the grips, and the teachers held the ends of the rope. They shuffled along together like a tiny little chain gang. I smiled, because that’s what I do when I see children nowadays. I can’t help it. If they’re smaller than Baby Dog, I think “I remember when she was that size,” and I smile. If they’re about the same size as Baby Dog, I think “Baby Dog’s about that size,” and I smile. If, as in this instance, they’re bigger than Baby Dog, I think, “One day she’ll be that size,” and I smile. A few steps later, the smile froze and the warm fuzzies were replaced by a sense of obscure loss. It took me a minute or two to puzzle it through. I was, I realised, saddened by the thought that Baby Dog would one day – and soon – be part of such little mass movements of children…larger and larger ones as time goes on. Up until now she’s occupied the centre of a very small universe. As of next week, she’ll spend her weekdays being one of three little girls cared for by trained professionals. Before long, she’ll be part of a larger group of two- or three- or four-year-olds. Then she’ll be one of a kindergarten class, then one of progressively larger classes and pools of children. Then, eventually, she’ll be the sort of anonymous city dweller that most of us become, with nobody to impress upon her on a daily basis that she is the little miracle of her parents’ greatest hopes.

Of course, all that’s called is growing up and entering society. It’s what happens. We’ve kind of known that all along, even before she was conceived. But still…it’s hard to imagine her ever being just one of the kids in the line.
*Made regular mortgage payments, never ran a balance on the credit cards.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a melancholy mood you've struck with this post! In a different light, one could think of entering society as a positive thing. I do see the sadness in your observation, though. Let's just hope that Baby Dog never has the opportunity to work on a real, live chain gang!

4:30 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I like to think of them not entering obscurely into society, but to leap into the middle of it with dreams and ideas and the world at their feet.

Congrats on a year! Happy anniversary!

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Big Sister said...

As they go walking along with the crowd, they bring home their stories, just like you are posting yours, and you get to watch them figure it all out. Then they bring home their lovers, who become their partners and you get to watch them figure all that out. Then they bring home their little ones and you get to take part in them figuring that one out - because you get to grand baby sit. It is very good. The circle of life. Son of a gun - it really does exist. But it isn't sad. It is hugely gratifying. And I bet you will post all the rises and falls as it all circles around.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I once went an entire year without sugar, 2 years without chocolate, and currently I haven't had a drink in 5 years. My love of streaks is inevitably tied to deprivation, which is sort of the opposite of creativity. I am completely impressed by what you have accomplished as it is all creative. I hope you spend some time basking in your own glory. Congratulations!

8:27 PM  

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