I’ve rescued feral kittens before, but their wildness is nothing compared to the barbarity in my own children, flesh of my flesh. My children are born feral.
Samantha has been fairly easy to domesticate. Though streaks of wildness still show through, she is at least compliant with the refinement process.
Simon, however, is almost incorrigible. He is a wild child, better suited to a wolf den than an urban apartment. Though I have moments of despair, when I fear he will never be fit for modern society, he still progresses. Inch by hard fought inch.
Three and half years in, he has adapted to the modern toilet, consistently choosing it over the floor or his pants. He is still given to wearing only blankets or running nude, shunning the convenience and constriction of clothes. Our uneasy compromise, “You will at least wear underwear in front of guests!” is strictly enforced.
Until, that is, the call of the wild, too strong to ignore, catches us both off guard. As it did during a brief visit this week from my dad, sending a naked Simon loping to the bathroom with his bright red dinosaur undies around his ankles, yelping urgently all the way to the toilet. No, he doesn’t close the door.
I have learned that embarrassment only feels fatal.