Wednesday, December 10, 2014

He's Cute — There, I Said It!

In the sentimentally-saturated spirit of the holiday season, and as a sappy digression from my usual crusty, screeds, I offer the following.

Through the first 2.5 years of the boy's life, I've learned far more about myself than I ever anticipated. 

Turns out there were a few parts of me that I didn't even know were there. Not that I'm pleased with all of them of course but, there have been a few revelations that aren't cringe-inducing. 

See? He's even cute when he's blurry. 
To wit, I've been startled by how susceptible I am to having moments where I catch myself uttering, "Awww, he's sooo cute," with regard to my son. 

I try not being guilty of hubris. (Of course just writing those words is a form of hubris, but I know of no way to write around that.) Suffice it to say, my mom and dad were proud of their three sons but they didn't dote on us — we had grandmothers for that. 

But, I'll be damned if I don't catch myself occasionally being paralyzed by just how cute I think my kid is. 

No more is this the case than those rare mornings when Mrs. Blackwell and I are enjoying the quiet of a day that's yet to begin and we can hear him from across the hall just talking to himself.

It used to be that he'd just flex his fledgling vocabulary, working his way through the new words that he'd recently absorbed, in no particular order.

Eventually he progressed to reciting lines from 'Little Einsteins' and then followed them up with third-person references to himself. "Mommy" and "Daddy" were frequently included in whatever this narrative was about and for minutes at a time, he'd sit there, talking and talking.

Throughout it all his voice sounded, well, as cute as any I've ever heard. 

It dripped with innocence as nonsensical sentences were enthusiastically punctuated with a hearty, "Let's go!"

I'm thankful that I had the presence of mind to resist any other priorities I might have had and instead opted to listen to the boy during these times because, they're diminishing in frequency. 

The random strings of words are now become full-on sentences — this has really ramped up in the last week. 

For example: we were at the grocery store, where they hand out lollipops to kids (and shameless adults). While seated in the shopping cart the boy looked at Mrs. Blackwell and I and asked of his candy, "What flavor is this?"

A day later he said: "I'm going to get in the car and listen to 'Uptown Girl." (We're into Billy Joel lately.)

Not a day later he held a leaflet in his hand and proclaimed: "I'm going to read this paper."

His burgeoning oration is great but, being the glass-is-half-empty guy that I am, it's also a sign of how fast all this is passing by. 

Ahemm, but, I digress. I began this post by saying I'd be sweet, syrupy and positive and so I shall stay.

With that in mind, I'm thankful too that I heed the boy's requests to go play with his trains in the basement — which is code for let's go do something together. 

I can't do it every time he asks (sometimes ya just get tired dammit!) But, sometimes even when I'm tired, we go, and it's always worth it. 

Once downstairs, we rarely play with the trains. Instead, we frequently opt for some good old fashioned rough housing. 

Among the traditions we've forged is "flying," in which I prop him in the air with my feet on his chest. While he's balancing above me, he wields his cuteness again by inexplicably adopting a serious, adult-like facade. 

He does this with raised eyebrows and a lower than normal voice and asking "Uhh, whass, whasss, whass going on?"
Less cute when he sleeps. He's actually a violent sleeper.
There's snoring, kicking and pillow tossing.

I'm not sure who — if anyone — he's imitating, but it's incredibly cute. 

Thankfully we still have the old standby cuteness. Obvious instances like food plastered on his face or running around the house with no pants on. 

Sometimes it's enough to make a person collapse from hyperglycemia . But these are the things that fill up your life when you've got a kid. 

I'm not sure what I did before the boy came along, probably watched more TV and movies and read more books. 

In giving it deeper thought, I know Mrs. Blackwell and I went out more together — drinks, dinners, parties, those kinds of things. And, I'm pretty sure we both went to the gym more regularly and socialized with friends more frequently too. 

Actually, we had quite a bit of fun. 

Considering it through that lens, kids better thank God they're cute.

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