Change is… by Crin Claxton


Change is

the transmutation of one experience into another and is also the stuff jiggling around in a butch’s pocket. Assuming s/he is lucky enough to have some, of course. I reach into my pocket each evening and scoop the monetary debris of my day onto a polished oak loose-change holder. I perform that action whether wearing jeans or trousers, but it’s when wearing a suit that I conjure up the image of my father, home from the daily commute, tipping his change into a small dish sitting on his glass-topped chest of drawers. Change dispatched, he would take off his tie, roll it, and then slide his suit neatly onto a wooden hanger. All of these things I do.

My son doesn’t have money in his pockets yet, being three years and rising four. But he will have seen me perform the unconscious copy of my father’s action. Brushing teeth together he studies my hand-on-hip-teeth-brushing position before arranging his small body in a perfect copy. Families discuss genetic traits. People tell me my adopted son looks like me. I wonder how much resemblance is the mimicry of gesture and the inflexion of my voice resounding in his?

We grow. We age. Each moment is different to the one before. The past can feel like something lost, but it’s really just the moment before this one. An experience becomes another or another’s, and sometimes change preserves more than it takes away. The huge and wonderful change in my life that is parenthood will ultimately ensure that my father’s loose-change-tipping gesture lives on in my son.

6 thoughts on “Change is… by Crin Claxton”

  1. What a delightful account, Crin. And perversely clever of you to think of an alternate meaning of ‘change’. It does seem very much a father gesture – I suppose because our mothers carried change in tiny purses, and never needed to empty them. My own father used to jingle his change all the time. It drove some people crazy, but for me it’s a fond memory. I hope you son grows up with fond memories of this too.

  2. Wonderful Crin. Made me smile. May it be a tradition that continues to be passed down for many, many generations to come.

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