I want to freeze my sons, at 8 and nearly 10, in their age of “Stand By Me” wonder, of energy and potential

of health and optimism

of delight

 

I want to always hear these conversations: the complex trading systems of Pokemon cards, the ethical posturing of Star Wars, the heavy analysis of the World Cup, the astute shunning of falsity

of hanging out squashed together on the couch watching old Bollywood

of a houseful of children, a weekend tide, surging down the hall and out the backyard and up the trees

and back down the street

 

before the angst of teenage years, the tyranny of hormones

 

To keep them from grownupness

the competitive renovation of the aspirational middle classes

the state sanctioned greed of continual consumption

the sting of rejection

the cruelty of business

the unspecial loves, the mean lovers

 

Could we halt their growth? Make them forever boys,

happy to hold my hand (when nobody’s looking), innocent yet clever?

 

Ah, no.

But what men they will be!

and how lovely it will be to meet them

The sole door to that meeting

will, eventually, sacrifice these little blokes

to adulthood

to another

to this crappy grownupness