Our Children

On one level of existence, we don’t have any young’uns.  But hey, why stick with just one version of life?  After we got married in 1988, Jody and I decided that we wouldn’t have any kids.  Instead we would do a lot of travelling.  But I can’t help imagining how it could have been …

Fifteen years ago, our reality snapped, and lo and behold, we were parents.  I don’t know how it happened.  Divine introspection perhaps.  Jody and I were blessed to welcome our son Dollop to the planet.  Such a fine lad, and he’s grown to be a quality dishwasher and lawn cutter.

Just before Dollop was born, I remember thinking that having one child was just the right amount.

Two years later, along came our darling Puce.  A brother needs a sister, right? She was so sweet, and still is.  From Barbies to boys, it’s been a long road, and such a pleasant one.  Someday, I’m going to walk her down the aisle.

Just before Puce was born, friends and neighbours told us they were green with envy that we were about to have a daughter.

In 2010, we were both super busy, but gosh – there’s always time for childbirth.  I was holding Jody’s hand in the delivery room as Inkling emerged into the world.  Soon red hair and a fiery personality joined us at the breakfast table.  One of a kind you are, my dear.

Just before Inkling was born, I had an idea that there was a princess on the way.

With the foundation of a really good housekeeping team in place, Jody and I were delighted that Squirm decided to join us … out of the blue.  Unexpected but not neglected, we loved her to bits.  A very active child, she’s always enjoyed life’s twists and turns.  Lovely.

Just before Squirm was born, I remember feeling really antsy.  How would we cope with four kids?  As it’s turned out, no problemo.

We both thought that was it.  For years the Kerrs were a scintillating sixsome.  And then just last week, Santa, the Easter Bunny or maybe David Letterman plopped a new being in our laps.  Imagine – Jody at 54 and me at 65!  Thank you, Somersault.  Seven of us.  Aren’t we a lucky family?  And who knows what this young boy will become?

Just before Somersault was born, I woke up in the middle of the night, absolutely flipping out.  I’ve calmed down since.

So there you have it, folks.  We’re very proud.  I’ll send you a photo sometime.

 

ta-pocketa

It was 1964 and I wasn’t liking much of Grade 10.  A notable exception to the muddy flow of life was Miss Bruce (no relation).  She was our easy-to-look-at young English teacher.  The source of many a fantasy for Bruce Archer Kerr. Plus we got to read a lot of cool stuff in her class.

These days I ask myself what I remember from high school studies.  Not very much of a pleasant nature, I’m afraid.  But there was a short story by James Thurber that has stayed with me all these years: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. Now it’s a movie, and I read recently that it doesn’t keep to the story very well.  I don’t know … haven’t seen it.

From the very beginning, I’ve yearned to be a hero, and in Grade 10 Walter was my guy.  Henpecked by his semi-lovely wife, he sought solace in his mind.  As a navy pilot in the heart of a hurricane.  As a renowned surgeon inserting a fountain pen into a damaged anesthetizer.  As a World War II flying ace in a pitched battle with the Germans.

And in each desperate situation, there was the noise of a machine in the background, urging Mitty/Kerr on to victory.

“I’m not asking you, Lieutenant Berg,” said the Commander.  “Throw on the power lights!  Rev her up to 8,500!  We’re going through!”  The pounding of the cylinders increased: ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa.

I stood taller after selected English classes.  Never mind the acne.  Never mind the monosyllables with girls.  Never mind the nude swimming classes for a terrified non-swimmer.  Inside, Kerr of the Yukon forged his way through the great northern wilderness.

In 2000 or so, Jody and I bought titanium road bikes.  I had the choice of keeping the frame’s metallic sheen or having it painted.  I chose a blended red and yellow.  The bike shop owner also said that I could have a name printed in black on the top tube.  So yes to that too.  Not “Bruce”.  Not “Road Warrior”.  Certainly not “B Kerr”.  You know what bubbled to the surface of my latently heroic mind.

As senior citizenship has somehow snuck up on me, Walter is alive and well. A spiritual teacher speaking to hundreds in Boston’s Beacon Theater.  A humble Canadian author stepping onto the stage in Stockholm, Sweden to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Roger “Bruce” Bannister circling the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England four times on May 6, 1954, hitting the tape in a time of 3:59.4, the first human being to break the four-minute mile.  The crowd went nuts.  Bruce acknowledged them with a tiny wave.

I love being in the here and now.  There and then isn’t bad either.