Monday, May 11, 2009

How Time Inches Along!

HB will be turning five soon.

This is the place where every other parent on the planet adds, How did that happen? They say it goes fast, but it seems like just yesterday he was [born / playing peek-a-boo / taking his first steps / add your own heartwarming milestone here]!

I said to TH around the time HB turned four, “Do you understand what people are talking about when they say it goes fast?”

“Absolutely not,” he answered. “Every stage seems to last forever.”

My child has a Superman-like ability to slow time to a crawl, at least for his parents. It seems like I can feel every minute of every day of the past five years. Other people’s kids get older awfully fast; not mine.

This child just wears you down. He’s an Xtreme Child (as in Xtreme Sports). The other day he went to the park with my parents to play baseball. On the way home he decided he didn’t want to carry the bat home as he’d promised to do before they set out. An argument ensued; he flung the bat to the ground. My stepdad said, “Well, that’s okay, you can just leave it for someone else to find.”

HB did not carry the bat home. He kicked it home. The whole way.

That’s what I’m talking about.

Actually that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the really cool things about HB, in honor of his one-twentieth of a century.

I was raised with a WASPY horror of bragging (e.g., when I was in college my mother wouldn’t even tell people what school I was attending for fear it might sound like bragging. She would say, “Oh, she’s … in college … in another state …” I think some people may have thought I was in prison). So I try very hard to avoid it here, especially the kind of bragging where you’re like, “oh, it’s such a pain, having a child who can do physics at 3—it’s so embarrassing when he starts talking about the degree of the arc of his pee in the restroom!”

So this is a little hard for me, but I will try to do this straight, without HB-deprecation—aside from the tirade above, of course.
  • For a preschooler, he’s almost Buddhist in his non-attachment to material things. He doesn’t beg for toys in stores, he doesn’t seem to notice when obnoxious toys “disappear,” and he doesn’t get worked up when something is lost or broken.
  • He can read, and as far as I know taught himself to do so.
  • He’s agile. He’s in T-ball but doesn’t need the T, for instance.
  • He doesn’t mock others for their idiosyncracies. He’s great with special-needs kids.
  • He can make scrambled eggs by himself. Really.
  • He doesn’t pick his nose or bite his nails.
  • He doesn’t like TV.
  • He has no irrational fears—the dark, monsters, toilets, etc. do not worry him.
  • His pencil grip and scissor skills are excellent for his age, I am told.
  • He is affectionate.
  • His outfits make me smile every day.
Phew. That was actually really hard for me—I felt the need to asterisk almost every statement, David Foster Wallace-style. The past week or so has been especially rocky. But I am grateful for getting such an amazing kid, the time crawling notwithstanding. Probably one day I will even be grateful for how he slowed the passage of time.