Stars in the Streetlight

Photo Credit: Andrew Preble

March 29, 2017

Dearest Solomon,

This morning, you learned an entirely new emotion — I just don’t know the word for it. While playing in the morning, after throwing a small “too too (Choo Choo Train), your mom pointed her finger and said “No, no”. The edges of your little mouth drooped downwards to the ground as tears welled up in your eyes. You were sad, upset, afraid, ashamed…?

Tonight, I had the rare occassion to put you to bed (your mom is adamant about doing this yourself). As we sat there in the dark with your tutrle casting a swirling array of stars on the ceiling I looked down into your big brown eyes. As I rocked you, I gazed down and said the word “and stars”. That little smile out of the corner of your mouth lit up the room. Sometimes I wonder why we don’t do this more often.

As I stared down at you, I was first entranced in the reflection of stars on your pupils. I could see the dancing light come and go, showing more and more dimensions of you. I watched as your eyes danced along, following the stars, as if you could see where they went when they faded from green to blue to orange to black. For a moment, I caught myself wondering if you could — children have so many special powers adults lose a grip of.

Stars faded quickly for me and instead I looked inside. Every day, you become more and more of an individual. It’s as much of a miracle to me as the day you were born. I can’t imagine the depths of your thoughts, though I know they’re greater than your ability to express them. I feel your frustration almost as much as I fear your independence.

As you sat there breathing in the stars, my mind wandered back to earlier this morning and your new emotions. Which one were you experiencing right now. If you had a name for it, what would it be? If I had a name for it, what would it be? Suddenly, we’re the same age again.

I’m at a loss for words, but a song came to mind — one I haven’t listened to in years, until now.

This house breathes somehow, the radio plays low.
And as you leave I know, wherever you go, flowers must follow.
If the sky falls tonight…
We’ll all run outside and catch stars in the streetlight.
Please, don’t run out on me.
I’ll make it through the night if you’re here by my side.
Please, don’t run out on me.
If the sky falls tonight…
We’ll all run outside and catch stars in the streetlight.
(Don’t keep me waiting).
“Stars in the Streetlight”, Chamberlain

Sleep tight my love, we’ll run outside and catch stars tomorrow.

Love always,
Dad

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