Milwaukee is ugly in the spring. Crocuses soldier up amid the detritus of winter to be cut down by frost and washed away in flood. April is muddy, wet, cold, hot, unpredictable, and all too busy with the birth-pains of summer. Spring is my favorite time of the year.
The beginning of the month saw me at the polls along with about ten percent of the electorate. Mordecai Lee
teaches my sister that this leads to an oligarchy of educated, caring people. I don't think I disapprove of this, but Molly has some ideas about democracy or some-such nonsense. Perhaps it was punishment for this view rather than just another April pain that caused me to throw up twice in school that same day. The flu kept me down for a few days, significantly interfering with my study time. Spring is always full of obstacles.
Oscar, my six month old nephew, brought my brother up from New Orleans for an Easter visit. I was hoping that both Luke and Oscar would fall asleep in church, for nostalgia and symmetry, but only the baby actually did. I suppose that, more than anything else, means that my brother is now grown up. The baby remains a colicky, occasionally smiling, ball of squish. He has yet to do anything so fascinating as walk or say a word, but he remains as adorable as a tiger cub cuddling a manatee. My mom liked him so much that she followed my brother's family back down to New Orleans to babysit for the six weeks until school lets out and Luke and Jackie both have off. Say what you will about my family, I think it's been proven more than once that we'll all do pretty much anything for one another.
But we don't talk about Malaysia anymore.
Spending time with Oscar has made me viscerally realize just how much Dillon has grown. I remember when he was just a little ball of squish and now I explain the concept of torture to him over dinner by using examples from books we've both read. That's probably on Molly's list of things she's going to do when I have children. She informed me of this list on Sunday when I taught bossy Miss Rose that if I do something she told me not to do one more time three more times, I haven't disobeyed. That wigs me out more than anything else possibly could. I am next in line. Still, if we go by the current rate of progression established by the difference in ages between Dillon and Oscar, I have 6 years. This brings me some small comfort, as I have a hell of a lot of growing of my own to do before I'm ready to shepherd a smaller life.
T.S. Elliot calls April the cruelest month, but none of my finals start until May. April is a month of preparation, of thawing ground, of awakening. The slow drag of winter erupts now in the tumult of life, the panic of finishing the semester, and the violence of activity previously impossible. April isn't cruel, just anticipatory; I've always preferred the pleasure differed.