Saturday, October 22, 2011

Of Boys and Butterboats

I am sitting up at 0300 our time, awakened by a slightly disturbing dream. In my dream, Daniel and I are together, he has not passed, and I am telling him off for damaging a tape of the group "Bread". This is an odd dream because this particular interaction never happened. When I awoke, I noticed I had some pretty bad heartburn, which likely fuelled the dream. I can only remember one such interaction such as this. Once, when Daniel was about 11, and it was his turn to load the dishwasher, I had a porcelain European butterboat. It is a porcelain device which allows butter to remain in a cool kitchen out of refrigeration for a time, allowing the butter to get soft enough to be spread thinly. These are often used in England, and I was very happy to have found one here. Daniel had hurriedly placed dishes and pots and pans on top of my new butterboat in the sink, when it was his turn to do that chore, and the porcelain knob off the top had badly broken. I remember giving him a hard time about this and insisting he pay for another one. Ours was a plain white French porcelain, and although these are fairly common in England, they are quite rare here. Unfortunately, no other one was found, and so he never had opportunity. It is one of only two times I remember overreacting with Daniel. I still have the butterboat. It waits for Adam to find the right grinding set to grind the sharp knob portion down, so that the butterboat could once again be used. I don't know how I feel about that now. How could it be that my precious boy who broke the butterboat in his haste to get on to doing something else in his short life, could be gone from Earth now, and the butterboat is still here ? There are so many such contradictions. There are toys, soft toys, tapes, electronic toys, and even the battery to his phone which go on occupying space on Earth and are working now almost three years beyond his instant departure from Earth. I will admit that I still find this inexplicable sometimes.
Daniel, I hope you know that no butterboat, no object here on Earth was ever more important than you, or your feelings. I was disappointed about the butterboat, but I had been trying to teach you accountability for the property of others. I am sorry about taking the time to be upset with you about this. I am left with a few memories of which in retrospect, I wish I had done differently. (Of course at this juncture, I wish I had spoiled you too.) I love you, bug, and I will welcome you in my dreams whenever you can get there.

This is the tape that Daniel had accidentally damaged in my dream this evening. I honestly don't think I have a copy of it anymore.

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