Thursday, January 19, 2012


It was a remarkable day in the city with Tyler. Going to visit DIG! and watching Tyler use his trowel to unearth ancient artifacts from the Romans, Vikings, and then the Victorians. Onward to Pret for a cup of coffee (me) and a VOLCANO smoothie (Tyler). Then the public library--the greatest and most sacred place of any city.

After five hours in the center, Tyler sat in his stroller and we began the forty minute walk home: content father, content son.

And then the words.

"Daddy, I have to do some poops."

I conduct some immediate calculations: 24 minutes from the city; 16 minutes from home.

I look around, hopeful eyes. Cars everywhere, the sidewalk we're on, and a small aisle of grass separating us from them. Dig a hole? But as soon as my mind even tries to go there, I realize that my daddyhood does not ever want to include in its memory the picture of my three-year old son crouching while a steady stream of cars flood past.

So I run.

Tyler hangs on to his stroller, gripping as we hop over bumps and curbs, take turns, swerve.

"Daddy, my poops are saying, Tyler, we are coming out of you!"

"Tyler, can you tell your poops, No, you cannot come out of me yet, Poops! Hold on for seven more minutes?"

Tyler is quiet. I run.

"Daddy, my poops said, No, we cannot wait. We are coming out RIGHT NOW!"

Passers-by hear the poop-impersonation-voices of my son and I and then eye us suspiciously. I smile at them widely, as if welcoming them into our little saga. And they smile back. They do.

But then I run faster.

We turn the corner onto Broadway, run two more minutes, then onto Lesley Avenue. The back door. I carry Tyler up the stairs, laughing, Tyler holding it in, and we make it to the toilet.

A bit late.

It's my first run in about five months. And it feels great.

Tyler's face heaves with relief. And all I can think is, this is the life I want.