Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Mean Pirate

Sam and Manny on their way to Dad's night at preschool.
The Mean Pirate.
Posted at Dad's night.
All the other kids said something novel or sweet,
but Manny is the only one who would really survive on a pirate ship.
All those other "nice" pirates would walk the plank!


Last week Manny and Sam went to a pirate party at preschool where they ate Pirate's Booty, made pirate arts and crafts, sang pirate songs and all around had a good time. Manny's teachers said, prior to the party, that the sheer mention of Dad's night made Manny brightly light up. If Sam was my dad, I would feel the same way. Proud to show him off and delighted to be on his back all the way home.


This afternoon, Manny wanted to listen to crazy dance music and I have a limited amount of that on CDs (does Indigo Girls count?), so after we heard my Senegalese rap disc, we put on Michael Jackson. Manny liked "Beat It", "Thriller" and "Smooth Criminal" the best. He kept asking about the lady. I'm not sure, but I think he was confused about whether the singer was a man or a woman. So I started telling him how Michael Jackson was this amazing dancer (because Manny has really got a groove) and how he was the most famous singer in the whole world for a while and that everyone called him "the King of Pop".


So we went out to the kitchen where I get wi-fi and all three kids stood on chairs at the kitchen counter and we tried to watch Michael Jackson do the moonwalk for the first time on the tiny You Tube rectangle on my tiny Netbook screen as the light streamed in through the window, making it hard to see anything at all. And what I had forgotten is that Michael moonwalks twice for maybe three seconds. So I was jumping and pointing, shouting, "Look! He's doing it! He's doing the moonwalk!" And I think the whole thing was completely lost on them. The girls were smacking my computer keys and Manny was trying to get into it, but the picture was too small and the smooth moves too brief to pump him up.


The crowd in the footage, however, goes wild. And they are wearing off the shoulder, poofy dresses and funky 80s bangs (whose idea was that anyway?) and I got the strangest feeling in the pit of my stomach- a nostalgia perhaps, but also a gravity for how much time has passed and...I can't seem to finish the sentence because Sam has returned from staining our dining room table and I have to go to bed before I turn into a whining puddle of self-pity like I did last night when I got too tired and too sick (still sick) to maintain any perspective.


While Michael Jackson was playing, I made Mr. Potato Head breakdance and Manny thought that was funny and cool. Only Mr. Potato Head's body parts would fly off while he was spinning. I wonder if Mr. Potato Head felt vulnerable and dizzy, wondering where he was in space and time, wishing he could get his nose on straight, but his arms were halfway across the room, so he was totally helpless, but happy because it was a helluva ride and help always comes from somewhere....maybe that's how I was feeling.


Better beat it.

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