Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monsters Hiding

When you are a child, always you are on a different wave length.
It is impossible to pass a closet with a half open door revealing a dark and mysterious, foreboding presence. Not only does the possibility of a horrifying monster inhabiting those depths seem very real to the child, but in fact the possibility that an adult’s dismissive reassurance that there is absolutely nothing in the closet
(Look, I’m opening it now. See? There’s nothing in there to be scared of! Now, come on and try and get some sleep, already. It’s late)
seems to be what lacks reality. It provides comfort only for as long as the adult is present, but then the child is left alone to those dire thoughts, fueled by the hyperactive imagination that is the domain of the child.
Maybe menace would be the best word to describe these waking nightmares that the children believe in. Every shadow made by the foliage of the trees, outlined in the moonlight, becomes monsters in the young imagination. When the wind picks up, it not only adds a soundtrack to this horror movie of the child’s mind, but it also adds motion, and breathes life to these horrible visions.
Yes, eventually these fears dissipate. Eventually, we do indeed come to kill that overactive imagination within us, and with it, those nightmares that keep us awake and horrified in the darkness of night, pulling the blanket up as far as we can in the hopes that it will provide us with the protection that we seek. But we come to kill the dream of childhood along with it. Gone forever the ghosts and demons of the monsters and ghosts that populate our childhood bedrooms when alone at night, indeed. But gone forever also is that sweet innocence and easy happiness and delight in the small things, buried by layers and layers of routine, and the endless lessons that well-meaning adults provide for us on how to function.
What are we taught? Well, supposedly responsibility. I say supposedly, because it seems to me open to debate, at best. After all, when was the last time you watched a real news broadcast and felt heartened, glad at how marvelous the world we live in is? We all know the general guidelines that religions, philosophies, and seemingly even common sense would dictate that we are supposed to behave under. Yet, so few actually do it. When you happen to try and live life in an honest manner and play by the rules, it often seems you are punished for it.
What does learning responsibility teach you? It teaches you that the rule of inevitability that we all have to live under is that life will get increasingly more difficult, increasingly more stressful as it goes on. It teaches you indeed to forget about the mysterious monsters of childhood’s imagination, and to believe in the actual monsters of adulthood’s reality. You learn to disbelieve in and forget about the monsters hiding under the bed, and to witness the monstrous acts of so many people around you that make life seem nothing short of unbearable. You learn to stay awake at nights with what we see as “real” fears. Making ends meet, trying to live a successful life by our eyes, struggling to find balance and meaning in these lives of responsibility of ours that seem to be taking such a toll on the entire world. How irresponsible of us.
I would have sworn, all those years ago when I was the one cowering underneath the blanket from those inhuman creatures that always came for a visit at night, but only when all alone, that I would never long to revisit those fears. But I have to admit that in a vastly overpopulated world where being left alone is an increasingly precious commodity, and yet loneliness within the crowd seems increasingly pervading, I sometimes pull the blankets up in the full light of morning, not wanting or wiling to face the very real demons that will chase after me with a measure of relentlessness that those imaginary creatures of the night all those years ago could have learned something from. Drowning in a sea of debt, struggling to keep my head above water and grip the shifting sands underneath my feet to fight the undertow, I sometimes wonder where the solid and stable ground I once knew went to.
The fears that seemed so real to me as a child are now replaced by the all too real fears that the grown version of me knows could threaten my child, still oblivious to the world of responsibility that I now reluctantly and regretfully entered and inhabit. Whether it is from the abuse that seems to run so rampant from irresponsible and sick adults, or whether it is from the abuse that awaits him when he comes of age, and finds that this is a world where people manipulate each other to the extent possible, and that the best any of us can apparently hope for is to find our way enough to provide a relatively comfortable living for ourselves and our loved one. Or whether, perhaps, the threat that I will either be too lax of a parent, and allow the child to grow unbalanced and lacking t values needed to make good decisions for a productive life, or the other extreme, that I might be too overbearing that my child will grow resentful of me, may come to hate me, and try to maintain as safe a distance as possible from me.
The fears and threats are real. That is what responsibility teaches us, and perhaps that makes most of us contribute more towards being part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. We become so fearful of this new reality of these, our responsible lives, that we shut it out as best we can. We close ourselves off to anything but that which provides us comfort, and never challenge ourselves with exposure to anything new. We want to know what awaits, we do not want to be surprised. We want to control our own destiny, and know exactly where we will be five, ten fifteen, thirty years from now. We want to know what our lives mean, and where our lives are taking us. We want to know, and I think that’s the problem.
I do not know what others believe, or think, or say. There are those who follow religions and philosophies and political and economic ideologies that seem to proclaim to have the answers for this life. But watch out! The greater the certainty, the less the flexibility, and therein lies the danger.
To my mind’s eye now, it seems that our need for certainty, for constant reassurance, for the true answers, may actually be the problem. And so I train myself to do what I sense is inevitable, and to allow myself to let go. Stop fighting the undertow, and let the tide carry me where it might. To accept that there are questions that are simply too big for my limited mind and imagination to understand, and to accept the not knowing, the uncertainty. Perhaps, if we can manage to become more comfortable with our not knowing, we might know something other than the constant suffering that we seem to create for ourselves and those around us.
So give me back the monsters in the closet or under the bed. Give me back the fear of the shadows of the trees so closely resembling horrible monsters, and give me back the power of that blanket to pull over my head for more protection, since I now know that there will be no one adult to come in and shed some light, and convince me that the monsters are not real, that they are all in my head. Because those monsters, the ones that did not exist, seem far better than the ones that I now know to be all too real.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Super Bowl XLV

Okay, so I was wrong about the Jets versus the Packers Super Bowl for this year. Or, perhaps another way of looking at it, was that I was half right. Green Bay did defeat Chicago to win the NFC Championship, and will thus be in Dallas in two weeks. In the meantime, the AFC title went to the Pittsburgh Steelers again, for the third time in six years (a veritable dynasty, especially if they win) and for the eighth time overall, tying them for the most Super Bowl appearances with the team that normally plays in the new stadium that will host this year’s Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys.
So, what can we expect on Super Bowl Sunday? The Packers have looked awesome, and Aaron Rodgers seems to be the hot quarterback of the moment. The Steelers have looked consistently good, and perhaps at times close to great, throughout the season, and find themselves yet again having somehow survived to this stage more by surviving then dominating.
There have been points this season where both teams looked absolutely on fire, but yesterday’s conference clinchers certainly would not rank among these for either team. The Packers looked sluggish and vulnerable, and Aaron Rodgers, ironically, had one of his worst days in a long, long time on what was the most important day of his career so far (but the next one will really bypass that, one way or the other). And the Steelers looked like world beaters themselves in the first half, until the Jets had that furious rally in the second half and, seemingly, completely outplayed Pittsburgh on the road, almost mounting the greatest comeback in Championship Game history. But no dice, as the Steel City’s beloved team hung on.
So both teams looked vulnerable, all too human. What can we expect?
Pittsburgh has been there and won two recent Super Bowls, and so definitely have the upper hand in terms of experience. The Steelers have that trademark, physical defense and smash mouth football style. Green Bay, on the other hand, has the more explosive offense, although their defense is underrated, and one of the league’s best in their own right. The Packers might be able to keep the Steelers offense in check, relatively, but the most talked about match-up will surely be between Rodger’s offense and the Steel Curtain defense.
Rodgers should have a better game than he did in Chicago, and the Packers will need to keep from making the critical mistakes that the Jets did. The Steelers are more than capable of winning without any help, so Green Bay will have to minimize any mistakes, and maximize Pittsburgh’s mistakes. The Steelers have the best defense against the rush, but Green Bay’s strength is in the passing game, so they will perhaps stretch the vaunted Steel Curtain to the limit. If the Packers offense gets rolling (and offenses seem to have the upper hand these days in the NFL), then watch out!
Perhaps the key match up will be from the less noisy sides of each team: The Steelers offense against the Packers defense. Pittsburgh is very dangerous, and Roethlisberger, while not the flashiest quarterback, is without doubt one of the most effective. Their overall game is solid, and while not the most explosive offensive team, the Packers defense will have to try and stop Pittsburgh from keeping the defense on the field, killing the clock, and keeping the hot and dangerous Green Bay offense off the field and cold, while the defenders grow fatigued from too much time spent on the field. This would likely be Pittsburgh’s best strategy to winning, if they can manage. The Packers will have to find the way to stop the Steelers offense, and to get a lot of three and outs. Give their offense a chance to win it for them.
Apropos of nothing, the momentum might be swinging back in favor of the NFC teams in the Super Bowl. The Giants toppled the Patriots a few years ago, and the Saints knocked off the Colts last year. What better way for the NFC to cement their newly favored status by beating that last of the AFC powerhouses that has yet to lose a Super Bowl under it’s current lineup?
Finally, as one side note that might have more significance than you might expect, I have to say that something tells me the Packers, who will technically be the home team in this Super Bowl, will follow the example of the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers themselves and choose to wear their white, away jerseys, which would quite rare. Why should this matter? Well, historically, the team wearing white jerseys in the Super Bowl have been far more successful than the teams wearing their dark jerseys, and that includes the last six straight Super Bowls, all won by the team wearing white. Not a guarantee of success, of course. But hey, why mess with what works?
I see Green Bay winning it and bringing back another trophy to Title Town, securing it with a clinching touchdown to put it out of reach late in the fourth. Packers, 28-17.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

AFC Championship Game Prediction

Okay, so the Steelers and the Jets. Now, I am a Giants fan, first and foremost, but have never seen much sense in hating the other New York area football team. In fact, the Jets have always been my second favorite team, and I root for them when the Giants have been eliminated from playoff contention (which is starting to be an uncomfortable pattern these last few years, but that another topic entirely). So, let me just say that I hope the Jets do it, and beat the Steelers, as they did last month in Pittsburgh. It would be nice, for once, not to have to see the Colts, the Patriots, or the Steelers representing the AFC in February’s big game.
That said, it does not go by what I want, now, does it? After all, the Giants are not in it, and have not really seriously been in the thing ever since they relinquished a 21-point lead with a bit more than seven minutes to go against Michael Vick’s Eagles, which has already been dubbed the “Second Miracle in the Meadowlands”. So I will put my personal wants aside, and try to see how these teams match up against one another, head to head.
I think that it’s fair to say that the Jets are the hotter team. With all of the brash trash talking, which they actually backed up on the field against Belichick, Brady, and the rest of the Patriots, they seem capable of playing the mind game effectively, before the kickoff, even. It clearly either fired the team up, psyched their opponents out, or both. Plus, it is a fine New York tradition in sports, predicting victory and then delivering. From Namath’s guarantee of victory over the powerful and heavily favored Colts for those same Jets in 1969, to Mark Messier’s predicting a Game 6 victory over the Devils in 1994, which propelled the Rangers to enjoy the run that earned them the Stanley Cup after 54 years without, to the more recent Giants Super Bowl victory over those same Patriots, who were of course vying to be only the second team to complete a perfect season, and to be then classified as the greatest team ever, New York has more such magical moments in it’s history than any other city in sports in North America. Remember that Plaxico Burress even predicted the score to be 23-17, and he was not that far off the mark. Perhaps only Chicago can even remotely compete, with the “Super Bowl Shuffle” in 1985, and with Michael Jordan’s predictions (which proved remarkably accurate, actually) that the Bulls would win yet another championship, which he did in both 1997 and 1998. But these famous episodes in New York sports live on because of the brashness that it took to make these predictions under the circumstances, not to mention the delivery, and thus tended to be more powerful and mythical, especially in the case of Namath’s Jets.
That said, I would be remiss not to mention that such guarantees have not always been successful either. Remember Patrick Ewing’s annual tradition of predicting an NBA Championship for the Knicks? Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, he is not alone. Guarantees and predictions have kind of lost their novelty, since everyone started doing it. And all too often, whoever makes the most noise winds up being a non-factor, and often even ends up on the losing side. So, yeah, that kind of grew old in a hurry. Still, would it really be surprising if this week was filled with as much trash talking as last week? Not really.
When the defense is on for the Jets, it plays very intense, and can keep the Kets in any game. There have been lapses, like in the earlier meeting at Foxboro, or with the Chicago game. But that is not likely to happen this Sunday. The Steelers are good, but the motivated Jets should rise up to the challenge.
Still, the Steelers are no slouches themselves. You don’t win two Super Bowls in four years by being purely lucky, and that is why they are trying for a third in six years, which would make them a bona fide dynasty, really. They are fighting for no less than that, and if they beat the Jets, they will most likely be favored to win the whole thing. After all, they have more experience on this level than any other team still alive, and have a very productive and dangerous offense that knows what it takes to win, to go along with their trademark, hard-nosed defense, which will surely give Mark Sanchez and the Jets more difficulties than the Patriots were able to.
But the Jets defense will probably be very stingy, and I see this being a low scoring affair. After having beaten Peyton Manning’s Colts and Tom Brady’s Patriots in consecutive weeks (the first team to ever do that), the Jets really are flying high. So Pittsburgh will have their work cut out for them, trying to put points on the board.
The outcome of this game will most likely be greatly determined by turnovers, and it would not be surprising to points scored by one (or both) of the defensive units. Any mistake by either team could conceivably be the game.
That said, I’m going to go with my heart on this one, and say the Jets will win. Trying to look at it objectively, the Jets are the hotter team. The Steelers are not the most explosive unit, and New York should be able to contain Roethlisberger, although that passing game cannot be completely shut down. Look for the Jets to bend but not break, and for the offense to do just enough to hang around, with the Jets taking this game in the final minutes, 20-16.
J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!

The NFC North: The Best Division in Football?

The 2010 NFL season was a strange one, indeed. It was the first season in a very, very long time where no one had an even remotely exciting run with perfection. Following so many seasons where teams had some incredible starts, (five teams managed to reach at least 10-0 in the past five seasons, with all but one of them reaching at least 13-0,), only three teams (Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Kansas City) managed to reach even modest 3-0 starts, and none of these managed to go any farther than that without a loss. Also, much more obvious than in other years, there were a few divisions that seemed to lack any really standout, quality teams. That was particularly true with the NFC West, which sent the only team in NFL history to qualify for the playoffs with a losing record, but it was also true with the AFC West and the AFC South, despite the presence of traditional powers in the Colts and the Chargers in these divisions. Indy had a season that was not up to their usually high standards, and lost in the first round of the playoffs, at home. The Chargers suffered through a long, difficult, and embarrassing season, ranking near the top statistically in both offense and defense, yet never really having a record that could have allowed them to seriously contend for a playoff spot. The Chiefs, who eventually did manage to win the AFC West, did not show remarkable consistency or strength, and it would seem unlikely that they will be serious contenders in the near future. Building on their success this past season would be difficult, if the Chargers, specifically, begin to play more consistent football.
The NFC North will likely be a very tough division for a very long time. It already showed glimpses of being a bruising division this past season. The Vikings were one of the favorites in the preseason, but obviously had a tough season filled with distractions and misfortunes. What should help them out will be the lack of distraction and drama surrounding Brett Favre, and finally ending their reliance on a quarterback in his forties. But that said, they will need to adjust, and could easily find themselves struggling, with the likes of a very explosive and tough Packers franchise, along with the rejuvenated Chicago Bears, and a strongly improved Detroit Lions team. Still, we cannot forget that this Vikings team went 12-4 in 2009, advancing all the way to a Championship Game where they strongly outplayed the eventual Super Bowl champs Saints, in New Orleans, and might have won it had not Favre thrown an ill-conceived interception that likely kept them out of the Super Bowl. So the Vikings still can prove dangerous, and could still contend.
The Lions have long been the basket case in the NFL, and the cellar dwellers in their division for the vast majority of seasons over the last decade. But this Lions teams was one that showed some real signs of life for the first time since starting off 6-3 in 2007. They finally managed to win not one, but two road games, including one that, for all intents and purposes, knocked Tampa from the playoff race, en route to winning their last four games. Matthew Strafford has shown glimpses of greatness, and should he remain healthy, he could become one of the top tier quarterbacks. To say that this Lions team is a very different one from the historical 2008 Lions, who made history in all the wrong ways by becoming the first team to go 0-16 since the league extended the regular season to 16 games. They left that legacy behind them, and now look forward to a seemingly bright future. Let us also remember that they came close to beating both the Packers and the Bears on the road this season, and really deserved to win that game against Chicago, which was taken away from them because of a bad call. It seems obvious that the Lions are at least on the right track.
Chicago seems to have recovered from the three year slump that saw them fall out of playoff contention, following their Super Bowl season in 2006. They won a division that had been dominated in recent years by the Vikings and Packers, and did so convincingly. The problem with the Bears has been consistency. This is a team that has not made the playoffs in back to back years since the Mike Ditka era, instead producing these one year wonder kind of seasons. It will take a lot more consistency to come anywhere close to reproducing the kind of success they enjoyed in 2010.
Finally, the Packers, who have a star quarterback leading an explosive offense, and a defense that is underrated, but played consistently as one of the league’s best units. This is a very strong team all around, but they would need to remain healthier than they have the past two seasons, when losing starters proved to be their main Achilles Heel, at least in the regular season. The one thing that the Packers have not done under Aaron Rodgers during the regular season is win a division title, but the Pack figure to be contenders for a good long time, assuming this lineup remains intact and can stay healthy.
So following a season of some disappointing divisions as a whole, the NFL should rejoice, now, at the prospects of the NFC North, which seems poised to rank with perhaps the AFC North and the AFC East as divisions with a number of strong teams that could at least seriously contend for the playoffs, and could send elite teams with the potential to go quite far in playoff runs in the near future. I will venture to say that, of the leading candidates to potentially assume the title from the Patriots as the next “Team of the Decade” (assuming the Patriots don’t hold on and win it again, which would be quite unprecedented), the NFC North, specifically, has two teams that could be early front runners to contend for this lofty status in the Packers and the Lions, and these two teams should become a hot rivalry over the next few years, having already played two tough and close games this past season, splitting with successful home stands. Add Jay Cutler’s Bears in the mix, and things could be interesting during the fall out by the Great Lakes for some time to come.

NFC Championship Game Preview

Well, the NFC Championship match is set up, and it will be the Chicago Bears hosting the Green bay Packers. Cutler versus Rodgers. The two top teams of the NFC North end up being, apparently, the two top teams in the NFC, period. It is a storied rivalry, the oldest and most intense one in the NFL, and one of the most intense in North American sports. Yet, it is only the second time that these two clubs are meeting in a playoff meeting. But this one will be to see who moves on to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
            The Bears really had their way today against Seattle, much like the Pack did yesterday against the Falcons. And now, a seemingly unlikely scenario, as these two storied franchises from the NFC North will face one another, seemingly against all odds. There were points where it seemed both teams were struggling and on the brink of disaster earlier this season. When the Bears started off red hot with a 3-0 record, and then got absolutely dismantled by the Giants, it seemed that New York had exposed some severe weaknesses that other opponents could expose against Chicago, and that the Bears would struggle the rest of the way. And it began to look that way, too, until the Bears finished the season off strong.
            Green Bay, for that matter, was one of the favorites in the preseason, but a season riddled with injuries and some inconsistent play that largely came as a result of their depleted lineup seemed to threaten to obscure the brilliant possibilities of the Packers season, as well. But the Packers hung in there, winning some tough games at key points, including a shut out on the road over the tough New York Jets, and showing some toughness and character in losses on the road against the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. But the Packers stood at 8-6, and hosted the New York Giants, a game that was, for them, essentially a playoff game. It was win or be done, and the packers won, big time. They then took care of business against the Bears, to boot, in the regular season finale, and finally qualified for the postseason.
            They proved to be sharp, as well, taking it to the always dangerous Philadelphia Eagles on the road in the Wild Card round, and then utterly dismantling the Falcons in Atlanta, despite their supposed dominance in their home stadium, and their earlier victory over the Packers in that same stadium earlier in the year.
            So now, two of the most storied teams in sports meet in one of the oldest and bitterest of rivalries in sports, for all of the marbles in the NFC.
            It should be a really good one.
            For my part, let me just say that I believe that Green Bay, at their best, should prove to be the better team. They are playing on such a level, that it would be hard to go against them right now. They are beginning to seem like the team with the caliber that many people predicted they would play at going into the season. The Bears have had a fantastic season, a division title under their belts, and their first playoff victory since the 2006 season, the last time that they were in the playoffs, when they went all the way to the Super Bowl, before losing to Peyton Manning’s Colts.
            The Bears have their trademark tough defense, yet the Packers defense has been very tough all season. Really, Green Bay has one of the league’s best defenses, and it has more or less risen to the occasion when it needed to this season. They should continue that trend next week, as well, and frustrate Jay Cutler and the Chicago offense in a way that the Seahawks were never able to do (and yes, I’m still wondering how Seattle actually got into the playoffs, let alone hosted a playoff game, with a 7-9 record, when not one, but two teams in the NFC missed it with a 10-6 record).
            Yes, the Bears indeed enjoyed a great season, and this should cap it off well, a playoff victory that gave them home field advantage for the Championship Game, for the second time in five season.
            But I think the Packers are the ones that are having that very memorable, almost seemingly miraculous season, and they should take this one. Packers 21- Bears 17.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Day at School

First of all, let me thank those of you who are actually following this blog, which is still obviously very much in it’s infancy. It is a beginning, and has taken some getting used to. But I have plans to make it much bigger, and incorporate much more writings on various subjects, and to be able to divide it up by topics for easy reference, and all of that good stuff. Unfortunately, doing so will also take time, so all I can ask is that you bear with me through all of this.
Also, apologies about the long delay between messages. You know how the holidays are, right? You suddenly find yourself whizzing through a whirlwind of activities, with all of the shopping for gifts and holiday preparations, then Christmas itself (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, depending on your beliefs), which quickly finds New Year’s nipping at it’s heel. Time for new beginnings, new chances. New resolutions that most likely won’t last the full week, let alone the year. Sometimes, they don’t even last the first day (I’ve been there, believe me!).
            Anyway, I wanted to add something new, but was not entirely sure what to incorporate into this very small body of work. Having just finished a book on Pat Tillman, “Where Men Win Glory” by Jon Krakauer, I was really excited to begin writing a review of the book, and got to work. Five pages later, to my amazement, was a discourse of all of my suddenly vented political frustrations of the decade staring me in my incredulous face. While this book certainly did not shy away from politics, it seemed somehow inappropriate to use it as a springboard to get on my soapbox and lecture about the evils of the era. So I decided to kick that soapbox out from under my feet, and teach myself a lesson in humility, jumping atop my fallen ego and pointing a finger in his face, laughing, taunting. Perhaps even sneaking a kick to the ribs of this not so much evil as annoyingly self-righteous (and yes, sadly, I will admit to possessing the not altogether rare qualities of hypocrisy) alter ego.
            So I decided to search for something else, instead. And the piece that I am about to submit was actually written a couple of years ago, on the occasion of my son’s first day in school. I was working in Newark at the time, and the building that I worked at had a school in it. Well, it was probably more like a daycare center, but they called themselves a school. And for the purposes of this little piece of writing, I think it gets the point across, anyway. I was interested in learning more, and inquired about the possibility of registering Sebastien, my son, in the program. There was only one spot open, and so I jumped on it, feeling quite proud of myself (although looking back, I scratch my head and wonder exactly why).
Some of you reading this might already have read it the first time around, when it was actually written. If so, I am sorry for repeating myself. Let me say this another way: my sincerest and most profound apologies for exposing you to the same material. Just in case I was unclear, I wish to express my regrets for forcing this upon you yet again. As you can see, it vexes me to repeat myself. In other words….
            Okay, enough of that. Gotcha.
Anyway, it was, and remains, one of the few works that I actually shared with people at the time, and almost everybody who read it told me that they found it moving. One woman even claimed that she almost cried which, in turn, almost made me cry (not really….well….maybe).
            It must be said, that I was kind of shocked to see just how brief this thing was, as well. For whatever the reason, it had seemed a lot longer at the time. I kept searching for the other parts to this, wondering where they could have gone to, until I actually read it, and realized that, indeed, it was the piece that I wrote two years ago, in full. It just was not nearly as long as my apparently faulty memory had believe it to be.
Also, I resisted the urge to do some editing or alterations, because this was written when it was still very fresh, and thus emotionally charged. So it seems important not to alter that, lest these efforts wind up taking away from the potential emotional punch that I hope it actually possesses. You be the judge:

            Thursday, December 11, 2008
My son's first day at school today.
Well, I didn't cry, but felt emotional. Just seeing him there, alone, a tiny little person, almost defenseless and, up until this point, almost entirely reliant upon his parents and grandparents for his world knowledge and experience, and the enormity and reality that it largely began to end today. Each little step, he's more on his own.
Otherwise, he did cry quite a bit. Not initially, because he was so distracted with the incredible toys that were all over the place. Plus, mommy came and stayed with him for that first hour and change, wanting to make sure that he was okay. But about an hour and change later, during lunch time, he was apparently refusing to eat. Since I worked in the same building, I was called down. When I entered, he grew quiet and shrunk in a corner. I sat next to him and put my arm around him. Slowly but surely, the tears came down, until he was really bawling. And it was heartbreaking, even if I’m a guy. I held him, wanting to let it out of him, but he just did not stop. I had to go back to work, break time over, and there he was, trying to hold onto me, trying to hold his grasp of the reality that he had known up until that point, which was now being ripped away from him, at least in part. It’s only natural to resist the beginning to the end of pampering and unending, unquestioned comfort. I think that they sense this, but are young and na├»ve enough to resist
And the parents also have to begin to learn to let go. Neither side really wants to let it go, but both realize on some level that it is not a decision that is in their hands. You can’t stop the hands of a clock and pretend that you’ve succeeded in making time stand still. It’s time for letting go.