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January 1, 2003 - Wednesday
Back around Halloween, on a small nail in the woodwork above our wood stove, I hung a black bat that Harry made at school out of a cut up paper plate and glue. It's been there since. It looks like a craft, but it's not entirely ugly and I've had this mild, although not terribly conscious, sense that maybe I shouldn't take it down because Harry might take some pride in it. That idea was reinforced by an unrelated story from Judy over the holidays about how taking down a series of her daughter's drawings was one of the greatest mistakes she'd made as a mother.

Today I was trying to put away, or at least out of reach, a couple of holiday chime ornaments the boys had received and been playing with a little too roughly. I found one nail above the door jamb between the living room and the front hall and hung one there, but I didn't find another until I got back to the woodwork above the woodstove. Harry was there and had been watching what I'd been doing and, as a fan of these new chimes, seemed to like the idea that I was hanging them up (although clearly wasn't intellectualizing that I was putting them out of his reach).

"Should take down the bat," I asked, floating a trial balloon.
"No," reply Harry was a mild note of affront in his voice. Judy's story was coming back to me.
"OK," I said and continued looking around for another spot to hang the chimes. Harry continued to watch the chime hanging process.

After a short time of my going back and worth between the dining room and living room, Harry, getting impatient, said "hang up the other one."
"I can't find another nail. I don't know that I will be able to hang both." I made another scan of the area, but had neared the point of abandoning the idea.
"You should take down the bat," said Harry after another moment or two. He said it with confidence and seemed to have worked it through in his mind and gotten used to the idea.
"That's a funny bat," Harry said as I handed it to him and put up the chimes.
"It's a very good bat. Do you remember making that at school?"
"Yeah." He was proud of the bat, but I guess he had realized, on his own, that it's time had come.

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