Wednesday, January 28, 2015

And Suddenly

And suddenly, he grabs for me, reaches out with his arms and his soft hands and wraps them around my arm, my rough hand that is trying to change his diaper and he won’t let me go; he just opens his mouth wide, smiles with his eyes, his tongue, sticks his feet in the air.  Suddenly, he loves me with every part of him and he can’t believe I’m there, again; I came back to him just as he hoped I would-- his mommy.  He will never remember this moment, and it’s likely I won’t either unless I write it down, unless I capture it for us both—this morning we spent together, 5:30 a.m., just the two of us, smiling over the changing table, only the soft glow of the small lamp to light our joyful faces.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Funny Finny

And suddenly, he’s funny.  Not the kind of funny Charlie is at four, where every ridiculous thing that comes out of his mouth in his tiny man voice makes us giggle.  Finny is funny on purpose, with intention.  And his comedy is not one-dimensional.  He’s experimenting with it all—quick wit, wordplay, deadpan, impersonations, physical comedy, and the good tease.  It’s just what I had hoped for him. 

“Daddy, you have your girl socks on.”  How does he know that a little bit of a polka-dot makes David’s socks a little more feminine?

“Startin’ to choke,” he taunts when David starts missing baskets on Wii three-point challenge.

“You treat me like an inferior!” he exclaimed to me a couple days ago when I was telling him to go upstairs and get dressed.

“Do you know what inferior means?” I asked.

“No.  Daddy said it this morning.” 

“Well, it was perfect.”

He drew a picture this week of God and the devil (who greatly resembled a rabbit hiding in tall grass).  God looked a lot like how he draws me—two one strand pigtails coming out either side of his head to represent long hair.  And then he narrated it for me in a silly God voice, “Oh, Devil, I went to the hairdresser this week and got a horrible haircut.  Just look at it!”  And I can hear David in him and I love it.

And then there was my favorite.  [WARNING:  David, I’m about to embarrass you on the world wide web.]

David came home from work at lunchtime. He had gotten some pee on his pants in the bathroom at work; I will not go into details, but it involves an improper tuck; it happens to the best of us.  He went upstairs to change his jeans and came back down singing the Pete the Cat song:  “I got my new pants.  I got my new pants.  I got my new pants.  It’s all good.”

“Look,” I said, “Daddy’s Pete the Cat!”

Without missing a beat, perfectly straight-faced, Finny between bites of sandwich, says, “More like Pee the Cat.”

Biggest laugh I had all week.

All that big emotion, that giant sensitivity, the anger, the tears—he’s figured out how to turn it into a laugh.  And this is what will get him through life, will draw people to him—finding the humor, instead of the embarrassment of getting pee on your pants, the frustration of losing at Sorry, soccer, Rock/Paper/Scissors, the sadness of a lost toy, a ripped Pokemon card, a favorite story character’s death.   Oh, he will cry when he and Daddy discover what happens to Charlotte this week as they finish the last chapters of Charlotte’s Web, but then maybe a joke, a silly voice, a little dead spider humor--something to bring himself out of the dark place.

And that can’t be measured--not by a growth chart, not by a standardized test, not by a quarterly report card, or a scoreboard.

The ability to bring himself out of the dark place, that will be his greatest gift...

...and ours.