It symbolizes him. His style. His mind. He is an “I do it myself!” kind of guy. He is a “Don’t help me!” kind of guy. He is a “Go away, stand back, I got it” kind of guy. And he loves accoutrements, especially hats.
He wears the Fighting Irish hat when he rides his bike, when we take Finny to school, when he’s sitting in the cart at Target, sometimes even when he naps. The other day when he was struggling to go down for a nap, I walked in and found tiny gold threads from his pom-pom in clumps and piles all over his bed. The pom-pom is still there, but looks a little anemic now. David was sad. “But I can’t take it away,” I said, “It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.” He agreed.
Lately, he’s also taken a liking to his Spiderman bike helmet. It’s the first thing he wants to put on when he walks down the stairs in the morning. He eats breakfast in it. He dances to Michael Jackson in it, and two nights ago, he just sat on the couch and watched Mary Poppins in it. I love it. I wish he’d been wearing it a couple months ago when the back of his head slammed into the coffee table. I think he should probably wear it all the time.
When he’s putting in song requests—“I wanna hear Beat It. I wanna hear Jungle Boogie. I wanna hear Freak Out, Come On, Don’t Stop, Lover of the Light, Satisfaction, I Will Wait, Viva Was Megas, Roll Away Your Stone, Hey Ya,”—when he’s singing, dancing, hanging from the monkey bars, going down the slide, looking for Sinny, asking for graham crackers, throwing his milk cup at me, telling me to go away, calling himself a “Stinky Baby,” making “Smoovies” in the kitchen, telling us he wants a “Family hug,” telling me he sees the “Number one hundred!”, telling me he sees a “W!”, an “E!”, a “Big, red truck!”, a “Blue button!”, when he’s doing all of these things while sporting some kind of head gear, I start to see who he is and who is becoming and I love turning the pages.
I wonder: He loves music—will he be a musician? He loves pressing buttons—will he be an engineer? He loves numbers—will he be a mathmetician? I wonder, but I don’t want to skip ahead.
Right now, I know my two-year-old Charlie loves hats and I want to linger here a while on this page. I want to sit comfortably by and just watch him--watch him play, sleep, ride bikes, swing high, eat Cheerios. I want to sit a while on this page and watch what he’s writing, always, always with blond curls poking out beneath his head gear, always, always adorned in some kind of fashionable thinking cap.