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I’ve got the stories, I’ve got the memories
Some that cry, and some that laugh
I’ve got them saved up like your little pennies
Oh little baby in your piggy bank

Sugar Pie, Sugar Pie, sit by me
Sugar Pie, Sugar Pie, sit by me

For what it’s worth, I think I might’ve learned a thing or two last night. This learning, if you can call it that, wasn’t conducted in any kind of formalized classroom or training with a teacher and textbooks. It wasn’t deduced from the words inside of a magazine or derived from those emanating from the television set. No, it was much simpler than that.

There’s this lesbian couple that lives across the street from me. As far as neighbors go, I’d have to say they’re pretty nice. Even though I have trouble re-calling their names, when my lawnmower goes on the fritz, they always let me use theirs but for the most part we just wave at each other from our front porches and we all take part in our daily routines.

A couple of years ago they decided to go the in vitro route and have themselves a kid. It was a girl and they named her “Blaze” and that was just about all we ever saw of her. Every now and then they’d ask borgette if she was up for babysitting but for some reason the schedules never seem to coincide and “Blaze” remained somewhat of a mystery to us.

Last night was a pretty steamy one here in the heartland and as is my custom this provided me with an opportunity to crack a few beers, fire up “le grille” and plop my rear end on the front porch and watch the world go by. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of earth shattering events and in a way I wasn’t disappointed. But then again…

Warm summer nights, especially early on in the season seem to bring people out of their hibernation. Maybe it’s too early in the year to flip on the air conditioning or maybe people just want to be seen outside dressed in comfortable clothes instead of all bundled up against the elements. Who knows?

Anyway, I’m sitting there when “Blaze”, who has probably just turned three, takes off from her front steps ands begins running down the sidewalk across the street. Her long red hair is flying behind her, her little legs are carrying her as fast as they can and the giggles that escape from her mouth are probably contagious . It’s at that moment that I think to myself that maybe I should intervene, play the role of rescuer before she goes into the street but then out of the corner of my eye I see one of her parents take off behind her

It’s a game parents have played with their children forever. It’s the one where they give “fake chase” to their child. They know that they can catch them at anytime but for some reason the child delights in thinking they are actually getting away. Every time the parent draws near, they draw back and let the child get some distance between them. Finally, they scoop them up in their arms, hug them for all they’re worth and carry them back to where they started. And then the game begins anew.

I observe all of this with a detached smile. I think to myself that not so long ago, I used to do the same thing with my kid. It seems that in the grand scheme of things, parents are parents no matter the circumstances. We have more in common than we think.

Now time has passed and you’re so far away
Can’t get used to not seeing you each day
But there’s one place in the back of my mind
Where I can go to see you anytime
And for you to me, forever you will be my …

Sugar Pie, Sugar Pie, sit by me
Sugar Pie, Sugar Pie, sit by me

The one I often refer to as the wee one ain’t so wee anymore. She’ll turn thirteen later this year and already there’s talk of boys and dances and other things that go along with becoming a teenager. Her bike rides last longer and go further than they used to. She “hangs out” with her friends discussing matters she won’t discuss with me anymore and goes up in her room to watch television or read rather than sit downstairs with me.

In July, she’ll be going of the Netherlands with a group of girls her own age for ten days to play soccer. Even though she’ll be chaperoned, for the first time, she’ll be handling her own cash, doing her own laundry, choosing her own meals and not being around the safety net of her parents. I’m excited for her, I’m hoping the memories she has will last her a lifetime.

I’m betting she’ll come back a little bit older than before she left.

If everything goes according to plan, in five short years, she’ll be headed off to college. She already has stated her intention not to remain in Ohio and as of this writing has her heart set on going to Cornell. I know it’s early in the game and all things are subject to change but for someone like yours truly who never attended college, I’m going to do my damndest to make sure she gets what she wants. I think I can safely say the same for her mother.

Unlike “Blaze”, the little red headed girl whose parents can catch her whenever they want, my little one has grown faster than me. No matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to catch up with her.

I’ll just have to wait until she comes back on her own.

(Excerpts from “Sugar Pie” come from the album by the name of Annunciation by a band called The Subdudes. If you ever get to feeling all nostalgic, give ‘em a listen sometime.)

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