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I think it’s about time to let go

January 2, 2014


“I think it’s about time to let go of the chicken.”

Words from my 24-year-old son on Thanksgiving as he struggled to open my dresser drawer and watched his prized 7th grade ceramic creation topple over and lose its head.

The bird’s separated skull had merely been resting on its body for quite some time. Its beak was now resting on its face.  And a couple of claws were scattered around it like numbers on a clock. I had no intention of getting rid of this bit of my first-born’s imaginative childhood.

Truthfully though, it had seen better days. Its infancy was spent in the custody of the middle school’s art teacher who used it as a reference model.

After graduation, when the not-forgotten-fowl finally did come home, I gratefully whisked it away to a predetermined perch on my dresser. To me, the adorable creature was the epitome of my son’s undeniable adolescent talent, sense of humor and perseverance. In those days, he hadn’t yet realized that art and design would be his life’s work (but I did).

That funky little chicken stood tall on my bedroom dresser when my son left for art school and had been an odd comfort to me in his absence. But as I was cleaning the house for our Christmas Eve party, I could hear my son’s voice urging me to let go.  Reluctantly I gave the aging, chipped chicken one final inspection. Perhaps he was right. It was time.

So, I gathered up the poultry parts and positioned them gingerly on the kitchen counter. If I couldn’t have the whole chicken, I would at least keep some posthumous photos. So I could remember the texture of its wings, the slant of its eyes, the curve of its beak. As I clicked the shutter, tears fell.  I was a mess, sobbing, as I gathered the pieces for disposal.

Just as I was about to throw the bird in the trash, I stopped. I wiped the wetness from my cheeks. I ran my fingers over the beak. I can glue that back on, I thought. And I can reattach the head. I’m sure of it. The chicken lives!

So, no, Trev, I can’t part with it. I won’t let go…at least not yet.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2014 4:34 pm

    super glue to the rescue. I was hoping that is how this ended and good for you to love it that much. I time well remembered.

    • January 13, 2014 10:32 am

      Thank you! My son still rolls his eyes about me keeping it, but I think underneath he’s happy about it too. 🙂

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