It’s been said (by zillions of parents) that one of the big joys of having kids is seeing the world through their eyes. What they don’t tell you, however, is that there are a number of years before we (parents) truly get to enjoy this experience. For the first few years of life, kids are more luggage than telescope. But, as the K-Man turned four this last weekend, it was a natural opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going.
Back in those days when the kid’s age was counted in months (“How old is he?” “Oh, he’s 13.5 months.” Is it so hard to just say “a little over one?”), he was a decoration, albeit sometimes a very loud (or stinky) decoration. He was like a huge broach for G, and maybe a watch for me. You didn’t go anywhere without him, but there also wasn’t a ton of interaction. It was mostly us doing for him. And, during those days, I used to write a ton about the experience. Why? Because it seemed like there were new firsts happening every single day. G-d knows, there were new life experiences happening every single day. (Like the time he painted his body, face and crib with his own poop. You just don’t get that kind of joy unless you’re a parent.)
However, as the kid grew from broach to living being who could walk, talk, hold your hand and make the most amazing observations, the “firsts” slowed down and the life really began. It’s during this time when the blink-and-you’ll-miss-something-amazing reality of parenting and fatherhood really sets in. Like the time he asked if the guy who cut me off while driving was named “D-ck.” I’d never been more proud. Although he couldn’t talk, he clearly was paying attention during all that time spent in the car seat.
The kid is undeniably cute right now. He’s so cute, it’s enough to make someone with less of a foot in reality consider having another one. I’m amazed at all the developments that happen in such subtle ways – one day he can’t do the monkey bars, the next he can. It just happens. The words and phrases that spew out of his mouth are equally surprising, funny and so logical. Finally, I can see the world through his eyes and experience it with him, as he can actually explain what he sees and why he sees it. I wish he would just stay four (minus the constant nagging about wanting some new toy).
So, thank you, K-Man (or K-Sadilla as he has now requested to be called). Thank you for becoming four-years old. Thank you for showing me so many different errors in my ways and offering alternative peaks and experiences. Now, if you wouldn’t mind just slowing it all down. It’s all going just a little too fast.