I was going through a mound of papers in my office, finding old magazines, half-written stories, maps of foreign cities and the like when I came across a sheet of paper typed out when my son Sean was only four years old.
Here's what it said:
It was bedtime and I was going to read Sean another chapter of Stuart Little. But we got sidetracked and he told me about his dream instead. He was hte engineer on a "strange train" and it went into Dinosaur Land. The dinosaurs were very fierce but there were walls to either side of the track. The dinosaurs couldn't get to him because he'd built gates. THe gates kept the dinosaurs out. He painted hte train in bright colors. It was very bright. It was pink mostly. Was there green? No. Yellow? Yes. Blue? No. He didn't want to paint the bathroom because it was wet. He met an Apatosaurus. What did it say? Apatosauruses can't talk. It wanted to get in. It wanted to know where the gates were, but Sean didn't tell. The train was a half-circle on the bottom and painted very bright inside, and a half circle on hte top. The people who gave him the parts to build the train wanted him to paint it very bright. What were the people who gave him the parts like? "They were Dotty and Louise and Alice and Grandmother and Grandfather."
That was over thirty years ago -- or, in Dad time, three or four months.
And the moral of this story is...
Tempus fugit. Parents should write down incidents like this while they can.
Above: Sean Swanwick. I think the photo was by Gardner Dozois or Susan Casper. It was taken during a New Year's Eve party in their then apartment in Society Hill.