Fun, despite his name has been the one who has kept me most worried at times. He fell out the window - stitches. He rode his tricycle off the porch - stitches. He canon-balled off the sofa - stitches. He dived out of his high-chair - stitches. He crashed his dirtbike - stitches. He is fun. He is funny. He is quiet. From his earliest days he would slip around like a cat. Busy. Observant. Active. Silent. I would call out, "What are you doing, Fun?" Silence. "Whatcha' up to Fun?" Silence. Upon which I would drop whatever I was doing and go hunt for Fun. I would find a happy little buzz-top boy, busy - building, drawing, organizing, cleaning, playacting. "Fun, everything okay?" Silence. Then a wide grin and bashful turn of the buzz-top and sometimes, his squeaky high pitch reply, "Yup."
He was just five. I was pulling weeds in my big old messy garden. Fun was playing in the treehouse. I called out. "Whatcha' up to Fun?" Silence. "Fun, you okay?" Silence. Upon which, I dropped my weeds, walked around the corner of the Shop from Hell and there hung Fun, kicking, struggling, grunting suspended off the end of a tree limb by his shirt collar. We had nearly lost Fun just the day before too, at the Highland Games in Chatham. The games were located in a park next to the Thames River. Deep. Steep. Fun hated water and as a result was a very poor swimmer.
"What is he wearing?" asked the event organizer. "A purple tee-shirt - and - plaid shorts," I offered. "What's his name?" "Fun," shaking my head. MacFun. The single most common given name bestowed upon male Scots. The bleakness of the situation dawned upon me. Every other little boy, in a park, at a Highland games, with Scots heritage, was wearing plaid shorts and heeded the name MacFun. Only, my MacFun would never reply...if he still could.
Panic. Cold hot panic. "We'll watch your other children, while you go look," offered some very, ancient, blue-haired, kindly, grandmotherly, types in a blur of Stewart, MacGregor and sensible Clarks. "NO!" I carefully shouted, with as much controlled respect as I could sanely muster. After all, one of them was a MacGregor. And take my other babies too? No! I don't think so! And I remember that I did not even thank them.
So I dashed through the park like the crazed mother I had instantly become, shouting, "Fun!, Fun!" upon which dozens of strange men turned and observed me in silence. Of course no one answered, Scots are like that - parsimonious in words. I suppose now is as good a time as any to let it be known, that that was the first time I have ever been in a men's public washroom. Some drug-addicted looking teen boys offered to help, but I only recall them backing away. And then. There he was. Fun. On the marching field. Step. One, two, three. Halt. Attention. Step. One, two, three. Halt. Attention. Salute. "Fun!" I screamed. "What are you doing?!" Big grin, shy downward twist of the buzzy-topped head. "I'm having fun," he squeaked.