Sunday, April 06, 2008
Over the past 6 months it has been striking to me how much shorter childhood seems to be now compared to when Derek and I were children. I see that Marcel is behaving more and more like I did at around 14, (he is ten and a half). He sits looking fierce, watching TV ignoring me sometimes. He grumps and growls if I dare to suggest a walk round a nice park, though condescends to accompany me if I let him walk behind me, hidden in a hood, hooked up to an ipod. He sits on Bebo and giggles over sexual innuendo with his friends. But the thing that alerted me to the difference was the sudden realization that he seems to have skipped an essential part of male growing-up. This morning I remembered that Derek and his friends spent most of their summers probably from about 8-12 catching bees and wasps in jars and watching - in the name of science - whether they would fight to the death. This was something I particularly hated Derek doing - not because I was a great bee or wasp lover - I was simply afraid I'd be the one they'd sting should the escape his jar in an enraged state. Marcel has never once, to my knowledge, caught a wasp in a jar for the fun of torturing it. Wee boys just aren't wee boys any more.