Afternoon nap

(of my son, 4)

Quiet footsteps
& people leaving rooms
talk in whispers–
curtains drawn slowly
across his falling lids
as colours fade to

black in Lawnmower Land
a place where he can
drive a large truck
inspecting garbage bins
unhindered by grown-ups
in a heaven of motors
vents & sewers–
all with my son
in charge

Weedeaters trim
his long eyelashes
as i sit far off
reading in another room
unable to stop
the demons of wheel-dreams
from rolling over
my little boy’s brain


The more obvious passions of young boys usually begin with knocking something over or throwing something down. Call it a road to physical action or gaining some physical control over their immediate environment. There is, too, an interest in motion and mobility beginning with crawling and an interest in basic car or wheel toys. Sometimes, this passion manifests itself in a ride-’em’ toy (beyond the smaller push toys). Later, there might be an interest in machines attached to this passion, such as an interest in lawnmower men, construction workers, repair men, or garbage men, such as in the above selection.

Some early passions continue and become the basic dreams of a male lifetime, manifested by an interest in demolition derbies or monster truck shows. And, of course, some men want nothing more in life than to own a truck, the bigger the better, sometimes.

As applied to my son, this early passion was touched on in his lawn maintenance work early in his university years. But his more significant, lasting, mature, adult passions had more to do with reading, writing, online work, history, music, family, and community. So his case shows that passions do change and develop with age.

It is also important to remember that there are more passions than the wheel ones or princess ones for girls that are often pushed by toy companies or some parents. A trip to the average toy boxstore reveals toys that point in other, less conventional directions such as science, the arts, reading, and creation. The toy choices of parents are very important and can open wider, more interesting, unique futures than the limited/limiting stereotypes. (But never underestimate the will and changing interests of the young with regard to passions.)

That, all I said, I did recognize and still do recognize that some things are beyond a parent’s or (grandparent’s) control, and sometimes there is no harm in certain passions playing themselves out. As with so many other matters of individuality, separateness, autonomy, limits and limitations, one must learn again the value of acceptance relative to others’ lives.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply