Archive for the 'My rudimentary sports skill' Category

Giant Legos

January 25, 2011

Andrew Hicks

When Tiffany was pregnant with Sarah, she mentioned a few times that she hoped she could quickly have one more baby and be done. At the time, we didn’t think we’d ever connect with a second baby, considering the 16-year gap between Sarah and my stepson Josh. I agreed two would be the ideal number of babies, especially if I could get one of each gender, but I had a lot of hesitance and uncertainty about just how life-changing one baby would be, much less a second.

A big reason Tiffany wanted us to have two was that she didn’t want to raise another only child. Tiffany and Josh had a mother-son relationship and a best-friend relationship, considering each was the other’s main companion for many years. This time around, Tiffany wanted her new baby to have the benefits of a sibling close in age. Not to mention, when there are two kids around, the hope is, they will be happy to play with each other and not be lonely and bugging you to play with them while you’re trying to make dinner.

Now that Sarah’s well into being 2, I’m looking forward to the day I’ll be able to sit back and watch her and Silas play together. I can join in if I want, or I can be that proverbial dad on the lawnchair with a book, relaxing with his own pursuits while the kids scamper around, content being kids. That’s the ideal, anyway.

Right now, Sarah realizes Silas can’t catch or throw the little yellow, orange and purple plastic balls she likes to play with, so she runs to find me to be her fun partner. She does come over to Silas and say things like, “Here you go. Ball,” and gently drop it near him as if she’s hoping today will be the day he finally takes the bait. So far, Silas’s main form of playing is to grab whatever’s in his reach, pull it close and stare at it. Or try to put it in his mouth. And he rolls over. That’s pretty much his entire repertoire.

So sometimes, when I’m trying to get stuff done, I have a slightly annoyed inner reaction of, “Why can’t you go play by yourself? Do you think playing with the same dozen giant Legos for an hour straight is fun for a grown man?” Sometimes I offer up half-hearted protestations to buy myself a couple more minutes. But then I get down on the floor and play with the cards, play with the giant Legos, play with the little cars, and I see this little girl’s face light up with fascination and wonder.

Being right in the heart of a toddler’s discoveries is a privilege not everyone gets to experience. Not everyone who does experience it gets joy out of it. Me, I can never be sure how much time I’ll have this simple, early fun of parenting before Sarah grows up, gets complicated and develops a sense of sarcasm. Then the boys are going to start coming after her, and it’ll be a whole new headache.

In another couple years, the way I hit a wiffle ball up through the trees with the yellow plastic bat might not impress her anymore. Right now, I show off my uncoordinated, rudimentary sports skill and get a, “Wow, Daddy! Far!” I’ll take that kind of genuine hero worship from my progeny as long as I can get it.

FAMILY PICTURE OF THE DAY

Sarah, 7/10/10.

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