Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sipping from the Fire Hose

With a baby on the way and a toddler growing by the day, one might think that there's no shortage of things to write about.

And, they'd be correct.

There's literally so much happening right now that the metaphor of drinking from a fire hose seems to apply to most of my life. I'm not whining mind you, merely making an elaborate excuse for why the frequency of my writing has declined of late.
Giggling loud enough for the entire Apple
Store to hear. 

The fact is, the boy has never been growing or changing faster than he is now. His vocabulary is, quite literally, expanding by the day.

Naturally there's been plenty of funny stuff happening with that, including the inevitable swear words which, sorry to say, always, always, sound hilarious coming from the mouth of a three year old.

We're potty training. Perhaps you're wondering why I haven't written about that?

Lord knows the boy provides enough material (both literal and figurative) for me to work with. This would no doubt be something that you parents out there could identify with.

And then there's just the hum drum amazingness that happens as a toddler learns, grows and develops into a little kid.

There was a recent trip the Blackwell Clan took to the Apple Store. While we were there the boy played with a tablet and, for whatever reason, found the game he was playing extraordinarily funny.

He giggled — loudly and for a solid five minutes straight. During that time, I got laughing and so did a couple of other patrons in the store. I'm pretty sure that a few of the Apple fanboy hipster types even cracked a smile.

Then there was last night when he was climbing up on our coffee table and using it as a platform to jump onto the couch — as you can imagine, Mrs. Blackwell was not home. After about his tenth jump as he lifted himself onto the coffee table, his weight-bearing hand slipped and his face came down, impacting the table just below his mouth.

There was a deep thud followed by ominous silence as a look of total pain came across the boy's face. Then the silence was shattered by his crying. I grabbed him, held him close and did all you can do in those moments, which really amounts to being calm and reassuring your kid that, in spite of the pain, he's OK.

In little time it was all over.

"That looked painful buddy. I'm sorry," I said.

"That was painful," he replied. "Did you hurt your face on the table?"

So yet another funny little thing: the boy still forms statements as grammatical interrogatives and speaks of himself as "you." What I can't figure is if he knows the meaning of "you" and is merely attempting to prompt a conversation by asking if someone else has been hurt, or if he's just straight up using "you" in lieu of "I." Either way, as he grows, this ridiculously cute habit will no doubt fall by the wayside. For now, I cherish it.

Letters as arranged by the boy. 
This are just a few of the tiny moments that nearly cripple me.

Some of it's small stuff, most of it in fact.

In considering it now, the frequency of these little things is mind-boggling. So, when I sit down to convey some of these it can be paralyzing. Where to start?

He is, without question the most amazing little creature I've ever encountered and I can't begin to recount all the reasons that have led me to this conclusion. Any parent worth their salt feels this way.

Each and every day these little things happen, these moments flicker like glitter, brilliant and reflective, before disappearing.

Having a front row seat for this, one can often feel like you're letting precious gems slip between your fingers. It becomes helpless because the fact is you're never going to remember all of this.

The only thing I've figured I can do, is to accept that fact.

So, against every impulse in my body, I've  resolved to take a more passive approach and simply savor this — all of this.

The fact that the boy likes to throw off his towel after a bath and run naked down the hallway before breaking right and sprinting into his room.

The fact that when he gets into the car now, he requests "Track 24!!" on my Motown disc. The song? "War," by Edwin Starr. (You know, "War! HUH! Good God ya'll! What is it good for?") How curious and — to me, at least — hilarious that this would be a song a three-year-old decides to latch onto.

And, I'll continue to enjoy the fact that he'll spend an hour at a time quietly playing with letters. Lately he's been using Scrabble tiles. He'll just sit at the feet of our kitchen table setting them in an order that makes sense only to him.

I'll enjoy all of this and resign myself to the fact that enough of those memories will be left and the gaps in between will be filled by the feelings they created.

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