You become used to most things in the world, and you bring in somebody new so it all seems surprising again. Our friend Genny sends word that she is again pregnant. She and her first child, Mazzen, stayed with Danielle and I for a few days in the summer. Mazzen is two years old, and enjoys pulling things off of things. As she was leaving, Genny asked, “When are you two gonna have your own little Mazzen?” But I was glad there is only one Mazzen, and that she was taking him home with her.
That night, though, it seemed far too quiet in our apartment, and looking at the disarray, I realized Mazzen had found excitement in things I had sitting on shelves. He’d pulled out CDs I don’t listen to now, but did listen to in the past. I hold onto them, but they will never be new again. Any fascination in them will be linked to nostalgia for the first times I heard these songs, for the friends who introduced me to them. Genny is one of those friends, and while I am perhaps much the same as I was, Mazzen makes Genny different.
Maybe I should have a child by now. But I do not. I have an iguana. Today I watched the iguana eat a snowball. It was the first snow of the year, and as Danielle and I watched the snow, each comparing it to past snows, it occurred to her that the iguana, our proxy child, and a South American creature by nature, had never experienced this. She collected a fist-sized ball and we brought it to him, snug under his Repti-Lamp in our bedroom. The first time his iguana eyes had seen a snowball, and he stepped back, then attacked and ate it, because this is what we do with the unfamiliar.