The ninja turtles are disappearing.
It used to be whenever we introduced Vincenzo to anyone he’d correct us and say, “I’m not Vincenzo. I’m a ninja turtle.”
He stopped doing that.
They’re not totally gone yet, but when they do show up the ninja turtles are all brandishing “light savers” and landing on planets all over the Milky Way galaxy, blasting aliens—and not with cheese puffs or whipped cream like it used to be; they’re actually severing off alien limbs and heads. Turtle Island is no more, nor are the smelly foxes the ninja turtles spent so much time chasing around.
I want to reel them all back into my living room where they are safe and where Vincenzo is my bouncy, lap-sized boy. To this time where a spare key becomes the Toy of the Week and where something as mundane as his reflection in the window is all he needs to spark hours of squealing excitement. Where running rules over walking. Where going to bed is the biggest bummer of his day. Where Dad is invincible. Where Mom is all he needs.
There will come a day–and I won’t even know it at the time—a when day Vincenzo will leave the ninja turtles on some planet somewhere and they’ll be walking around and they’ll run into Puff the Magic Dragon and one of them will say, “Oh crap, not you.” Then a couple years later Santa and the Easter Bunny will come hurtling onto the planet too and they’ll look at the ninja turtles and say, “Oh crap, not you.”
Vincenzo will leave the turtles behind and never look back. I’ll call the ninja turtles to dinner one day and brace myself for impact, but a boy will come walking calmly over to the table instead.
Before I start actually crying over the ninja turtles, I have to remind myself that it is very hard to get a prom date when you think you are a ninja turtle. It is hard to get a job if the only skills you list on your resume are “fighting” and “hiding in crumbs.” It is hard to find a suitable wife when you believe it is your job to lay and hatch the eggs when the time is right. And it is especially hard to fit that Darth Vader cape over your turtle shell.
But I’m told it can be done.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Look over and to the left. That’s what we’re having.
(Does anyone get it? Anyone?!)