As the story goes, faced with two weeks of changing diapers while his wife was away my cousin Duane succeeded in potty training his 2yr old son before his mother returned.
He grasped the idea that he shouldn't go in his diaper before he got a firm hold on the "go to the bathroom" bit; so once early in the training when he really needed to poop, he just squatted in our cousin's back garden and let go. I wasn't there when it happened, but when I was told the story, I cracked up and said "Oh, I can't wait until he's old enough for me to torture with that story."
This morning I was remembering, and wondering what's the right age? At 12 he might have enough of an awareness of himself for me to tell him that story, but he might not truly grasp my reason for telling it - bonding. When my family retells my baby stories - a lot of them for a laugh at my expense - the laughter is only a small price to pay for the sense of well being I get, the gratefulness I have for the people who shared in my childhood, these stories are the evidence of the bond that has traveled with and sustained me since birth. 15 might not be much better, I think the 20's and older are a great time for the retelling of his baby stories, but that's 17 years and a few weeks from here; and I found myself wondering would I be alive then.
I am not terminally ill or had any great epiphany lately, nor do I have any great fear of the abstract idea of death. I've accepted it as an inevitable bridge I'll cross when I get to. I've also accepted that I won't know until my dying moment that I am leaving, and from time to time I stop to affirm that be it days or years upon years that I have left I accept my fate and am grateful for the time I have spent so far.
This morning though, I am hoping that in 17 years and a few weeks I'll be around to do in the retelling of baby stories what my family friends and family friends have done for me throughout the years, and I that I can hang around to keep sniffing that sweet spot on his neck so that when he's twenty he won't forget that I am the one who used to powder him with kisses because that's just what he smelled like.