Monday, October 17, 2011

Leave Everything On The Court

Sorry, somehow I had a prolonged bloggy break. I took one day off and it became two weeks... What happened in the meantime? For one thing Steve Jobs died.  I didn't know much about him as I'm a bit of a Luddite. He created Apple, which is 40 mins from here and Pixar is just down the road. Who was Steve Jobs? An I-God who changed the world for all time? Or a blimin' big meany who made his staff cry and simply made talky and writey stuff look skinny and sweet?

He was for sure, fascinating and inspiring. A friend sent me the speech Steve Jobs made to Stanford University in 2005 and it started ringing bells for some reason. Jobs tells how he started College but then decided to leave: "After six months I couldn't see the value in it.... " Who does that remind me of? Our seven year old, Cy.

Cy on the schoolyard in the rain

On Friday I picked up Cy from his second grade class and ask that parental standard: "How was your day?" He gave the same grumpy answer he's given off-and-on since kindergarten: "Oh, they're wasting my time....wasting my time again."

As though they are distracting him from his proper day job of fielding million dollar endorsement offers,  placing bids on large commercial buildings and advising the White House on the debt crisis.

And instead of ruling the world from his corner office on the 26th floor of the TransAmerica Pyramid, he finds himself in a classroom struggling to sit on a rug "cross-cross apple-sauce" and to resist blurting the haikus of "hiiilaaarious" nonsense that enter his mind. Let's just say the path to the principal's office is not an untrodden one for him. Every day I wince, afraid to ask: "Any notes from the teacher, Cy?"

On the way to soccer yesterday he said: "At College if you don't go to class, are you sent to the office?" What would you be doing instead of class, we asked. Watching NBA with my friends and eating pizza, was his quick-as-a-flash answer.

Tallulah, 10 and Cy playing on our front deck in the rain
Cy has two gears: howling raging indignation and beaming brightness. In fact his every being follows Steve Jobs' exhortation in that same Stanford speech - live each day as if it were your last. Or as one friend says: Cy leaves everything on the court. He wakes up each morning with a smile on his face and singing a snatch of Cody Simpson. With a cracker in his hand and a trail of crumbs behind him, obsessively checking scores on there is literally nothing else in the world to complete him.

Harley, 14 receives football wisdom from Cy, 7
Until we're ready to leave for school. It's 8.15am and he's wearing an airplane headrest, ski gloves, tweed men's cap, pajama pants, no shoes and he's drawing "Go Penn State" on his chest. Asking if he has made his lunch yet evinces howls of rage "Why, why why me??" even though he's been up for two hours.

The lunches. Because Cy has lost at least 20 lunch boxes he simply grabs whatever bag is at hand:  the blue plastic in which the local newspaper arrives, a large brown grocery bag from Trader Joes or  - if he can't find anything else - an 18-gallon trash compactor bag. Standing at the fridge he chucks in a couple of handfuls of Goldfish crackers, two apples and random leftovers from last night like lamb chops (unwrapped) and a jar of peanut butter. He looks in his 18 gallon trash compactor bag, nods his head, his work here is done.

Cy assembling his lunch
Cy's lunch
Steve Jobs concluded his speech with: "Stay hungry. Stay Foolish." Cy thinks nothing of disrupting the house, the laundry, and everyone's room to find that perfect soccer practise t-shirt.  You see his team all take their shirts off after practise and whip each other with them. Turns out, it's a bit of science finding that perfect whipping shirt.

Finally, his lunch in hand, his shoes on, he dashes out to the car and swings himself through the open front window of the car into the back seat (his latest trick). He grins and sings all the way to school.

Cy gets into the car

The other day I dropped him off at school in the blurring, howling rain. He jumped out the car with no raincoat, natch. Instead of running for the shelter of the front entrance as everyone does on a rainy day, he walked round to the back, to the playground. He had a huge grin on his face, he must have been thinking about seeing his friends, shooting some hoops or kicking the ball around...

I parked and watched as Cy splashed onto a completely deserted playground. The torrential rain almost eclipsed his tiny figure on the vast empty blacktop.  I saw Cy raise his arms and his face to the rain:  "Why isn't anyone else out here?"


  1. That is quite a young man you have there. I love the fact that he does it all his way and that's that. Destined for greatness I think!

  2. I love his spirit and joie de vive! My daughter has a touch of that -- doesn't care what anyone else thinks or does. I am constantly torn between encouraging her to be different / her own self and wishing she'd at least brush her hair.

  3. by the way, we are going to Ohope this weekend to see the Pococks - I think you know Karen. We are staying in a lockwood bach, fully fenced of course so I don't spend the whole time peeling children from under car wheels.

  4. Sounds like you have the next great innovator on your hands there! So loved this post. Happy Monday, sweetie :) xoxo

  5. In a novel, or as a commencement speech by a very successful person that sounds so great. As a mom dealing with it everyday, I feel for you. I think I'm in your club though..... Yikes! Let's hope it pans out in the end.....

  6. Hey there! I love your blog! It has so much of character and personality. Would you like to follow each other? What do you think?
    hugs from New York,
    Ask Erena

  7. A fascinating insight into a fascinating young boy. Would love to just nip to the future right now and find out what he's up to!

    Glad to have you back, by the way!

  8. Great post - sounds like you have a fab son and so obvious how much you love him - which is really lovely x

  9. Awww...Cy is such a sweetheart; and I LOVE your expression in the last picture as he flings himself through the open car window (to be honest, I went through a stage in elementary school where I entered and exited the car in the very same way). :P

  10. He sounds crazy wonderful. I have a little boy singing at the top of his lungs outside on my back deck right now; it's freezing - literally; it's 8 am, and there's nothing better than serenading the neighbourhood!

  11. Sounds like Cy has his own thing going on! Reminds me a bit of my son Conor:)

  12. As a child was a bit like Cy---- I seemed to have lost it, but maybe I will find it again (I hope!)

  13. I laughed so hard when you described his outfit of tweed men's cap, pj pants and writing Go Penn State on his chest. Wow, he is brilliant, and I mean that, I have no doubt that he's going to do amazing and cool things this life.

    Hope you are doing well Jody!!!
    xo Mary Jo

  14. Cy is so cool. I'll never forget one of the first few days of Kindergarten, he stood in line with Charlotte, up front and was doing some kind of stand-up like routine. I was truly amazed!

  15. What a lovely post. Oh, to be a 7 year old again!

  16. He is dancing to his own drum that's for sure!
    welcome back from your little break...

  17. May Cy always march to the beat of his own drummer! Thanks for sharing this story about your son. He sounds like a great kid. :)

  18. never a dull moment! i love how cy packs his lunch. missed you blogging...

  19. He sounds wonderful! I wish I had that same fierce life-loving energy!

  20. You are a woman after my own heart...a fridge filled up with The Widow, what class!
    Cy sounds like a great little boy :)

  21. That's hilarious - he sounds a lot like my husband's younger brother has been when he was a kid. Don't worry, he'll be fine. As long as you don't forget to keep the front window down... ;-)

  22. I love this--Cy sounds like such an interesting character! I love that Steve Jobs' speech made you think of him. And do you know what? Ill bet he's going to be an amazingly interesting man.

    PS I mentioned you in a post recently about superwomen :)

  23. awww, haha, that picture of cy in the fridge is priceless! :D

    p.s. i think it's good to take breaks from our blogs sometimes. ;)

    <3, Mimi

  24. Lately, as we've gotten home and have been on the mad hunt to get caught up and back in order (not that we were really in order before), I feel as though I'm squashing my kids' spirts- always telling them to focus, or pick this up, or hurry up...

    Your post has woken me up a bit... to lay off, and let them BE. Thank you for that.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...