The Long Way Around (When A Child's Actions Speak)

» The Bug flies back East every summer with his mom for a few weeks. Camping. Fun stuff. So it's expected. Never a surprise.

Baloo and Mogli | The Jungle BookThis year however, I felt depressed (sad, blue, logy, lethargic) beginning the day he left .. seeing I knew I wouldnt see him for several weeks.

And I couldnt shake it. Couldnt snap out of it.

I mean, I'm okay with sadness .. having spent much time there. I've learned to adapt. It has become almost comfortable .. like an old friend.

But I think, some times, it comes off as unsociable, which I can certainly understand, seeing that I tend to get quiet.

I dont get in a bad mood, per se .. merely blue (and quiet), so I usually try to be alone .. to avoid being misunderstood.

Exhausting it can be .. trying to feel up/happy .. when you're not. The problem however, was that .. I wasnt exactly sure WHY I was feeling blue .. but, when he returned, the blues left. =)

So. Guess I just plain missed him. Silly me. I somehow had the idea that I wouldnt miss him, seeing the trip was planned well in advance (anticipated).

But he's back and we had an excellent time together last week. I made him laugh a lot. The cat was watching him eat and I performed an impromptu voice-over of what the cat was thinking.

The Bug was hysterical (.. eating a taco). The cat is handsome, regal and serious so I gave him a snooty aristocratic British accent.

» The Approach | Incoming!

On our way back, taking the Bug back to his mom, after we had spent a few days together, we stopped for lunch at Carlos' restaurant in Dana Point (.. on Pacific Coast Hwy). Yummy Mexican comidas. Fun, colorful place. Comfortable.

Anyway, we took the cat with us, while the house was being bombed for ants.

So I carried the carrier that held the cat and set it down on the chair at the end of the table .. so we could all see him. The chair was also at the far end of the patio.

Pooh and Piglet Look for ButterfliesAfter setting down the cat carrier, I sat down opposite the Bug.

A minute later, he got up, and, seeing there was no other option, he walked all the way around ..

.. the long end of the table .. and came over and climbed up on my lap (.. like it was nothing) and there he sat down.

I suspect you needed to BE there .. or at least view a schematic of the patio floor-plan .. but it was such a remarkably cool feeling .. that I'm STILL perched atop Parenting Cloud #9.

Parenting is not easy. You'll hear no sane person claim otherwise. It's mostly hard, relentless, thankless work. (If you're doing it for the appreciation, you probably oughta look for a new job.) So when these little treasures drop in your lap, you use them to help get thru the tough times ..

.. which reminds me of the time he spilled a glass full of ice-water on my crotch at a restaurant. Could not have placed it any more .. precisely.

••• today's entry continues here below •••

» When A Child's Actions Speak

Kids are very honest. Brutally honest, sometimes. Especially the young ones. If they like (.. or dislike) something .. you know it. No need to guess.

His "long-way" around told me that he wants to be near me. He feels comfortable with me. He enjoys being around me. He likes me.

I am so honored. I definitely work at it .. at earning his ______ [ « fill in your own word ]. We're talking about » priorities.

I have been going "The Long Way" for him for years. (And he knows it.) So it is most gratifying to know he feels likewise. =)

I hear that kids can "grow out of" this phase .. and maybe that indeed is the way life does go.

Pooh & the Hundred Acre Gang with Letters & WordsBut I am STILL glowing about the way he came over .. so naturally .. and climbed up on my lap.

And sat down for lunch. (A gesture which was all the more appreciated seeing I had been stuck in a funk for weeks.)

"I'll have a chicken taco, dad, with rice-n-beans. Black beans. Can I have a Sprite, too? Did you know I like salsa now? But not too hot. When's our food gonna be here? I'm hungry. Can I put some food in Moe's cage when it comes?" =)

Perhaps the reason I feel such warmth .. is cuz this lap-climbing incident reminds me of the time he climbed up on my lap and fell asleep .. at a restaurant .. after we had spent the day at the San Diego Wild Animal Safari Park.

Nothing like a child asleep in your arms .. to make you feel grateful. To be alive. The nectar of life. The juice. Indescribably delicious.

I remember the mom of a little girl there at the restaurant, who, as they were leaving, stopped by our table .. with her 3 year-old daughter and said (gazing at my sleeping prince), "I saw when he climbed up on your lap."

That was a good feeling. Real good. That he feels comfortable enough with me .. to fall asleep in my arms .. in a noisy public venue .. in a matter of minutes.

Far as parenting goes, he is all I know. Our relationship, I mean. But others have commented .. that we seem to have a "special" relationship. [ Some very pretty girls .. have told me this. "I want one just like that," she said. "Right now," I asked. =) ] But dont think I havent worked at it.

He starts 2nd grade in weeks. Second grade. Can you believe it?

» Accumulation of Facts vs Development of Problem-Solving & Data-Mining Skills

Being a dad of a soon-to-be second grader, I naturally have 'thoughts' on the subject of our educational system .. specifcally regarding .. the Accumulation-of-Facts vs the Development-of-Problem-Solving skills.

Accumulation of facts is nice, even noble and cultured .. but unfortunate if the accumulation ignores the cultivation of problem-solving skills.

I could easily slip into this topic. Can feel myself wanting to go there. But such a topic should be a separate entry.

{ facts.assorted.historical.napoleon.ass }

Napoleon's coronation (as Emperor) came on December 2, 1804. All hail. He died 17 years later in May, 1821 .. age 51 (.. the very year that Dostoevsky was born, and 7 years before Tolstoy was born.

Good rumor floating around that Napoleon was poisoned. But he really died of not-being-able-to-be-Emperor. Life after summiting Mt. Emperor is obviously all downhill.

In 1812 (exactly 200 years ago) Napoleon invaded Russia .. and got his ass handed to him ..

.. which Tolstoy wrote about some 50 or 60 years later .. in "one-of-the-most-important-works-of-World-Literature" (ever) .. seeing his grandpa, a prince (his mom's dad) had fought in the war.

{ /facts.assorted }

» How Kids Make Us Re-live Our OWN Childhoods (An Intimate Subject)

Some times I write about subjects that turn out to be unpublishable. I once wrote an entry about how kids make us re-live our OWN childhoods (.. for better or worse).

That entry turned out to be too intimate .. to set forth a proper, honest effort. Something worth writing.

I enjoy challenging myself .. to find the confidence necessary to reveal intimate things. But that entry was definitely too intimate. But yes, kids make us re-live our own childhoods.

The Bug asked me adult-level questions .. for the first time. It is a challenge to answer adult-level questions in such a way that a 7-year old can "get". So I guess he is no longer a "Bug".

It is my opinion that every adult-level answer we deliver to a young child needs to contain the message » "You are very important to me .. at or near the top .. of my list of priorities," at the beginning, the end, or simply implied.

They grow up so fast, you know. It's scary. I pray, "Dear God, do NOT let me screw this up. Whatever it takes. Do or die." [ the "please" is naturally implied ]

This week was the first time that I realized (.. from dozens of different litttle things .. that most people would probably miss) .. he is GONNA BE OKAY. (I did not 'know' that last week.)

Sure, he will have his trials & tribulations, like any good man. But he will be okay. You cannot believe what a relief that is.

» Tim Curry, Lemony Snickets & A Series of Unfortunate Events

Count Olaf and his Unfortunate EventsWe have been listening to some of the Lemony Snickets audio books .. narrated by Tim Curry ..

.. who played Long John Silver (.. amazingly well) in Muppet Treasure Island (.. which I have seen many times).

His voice is so good, so descriptive, that it's worth checking out one of the Series of Unfortunate Events for THAT reason alone.

He really plays an excellent bad/conflicted guy. Remarkably well (.. such as Long John & Count Olaf). Most impressive. Convincing. Certainly talented. Maybe even gifted. Yeah, that good.

Book #2, titled The Reptile Room is short-n-sweet. Well, maybe not so sweet.

Before bed, I read to the Bug » Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson .. same guy who wrote Treasure Island. But the Bug falls asleep so fast that it is taking us a while to get thru it. (I can hear his breathing shift when he drops off.)

I become a different person with him .. happier, more energetic, more lively, funnier. A curious thing it is.

» 4th of July

We also got to spend the 4th together this year. The 4th is my favorite holiday of the year .. probably a result of positive Classical Conditioning when I was a kid myself.

The surrounding towns would stagger their fireworks, so you could see fireworks a few nights in a row.

All the neighborhood kids would pile into the back of some dad's pick-up and off we'd go .. hootin' & hollarin' .. in the humid, still-hot night air.

With the Bug, the 4th either falls on one of my days .. or it doesnt. Last time was back in » 2008 (.. when he was only 3).

I had SUCH a good time with him on the 4th this year .. watching the fireworks together. Heaven on earth. ■

For more along these lines, here is a Google search preconfigured for the query » parenting fatherhood childhood visitation

Radified home

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on August 20, 2012 8:20 AM.

The Physicist, the General & the Bomb (1945 Revisited) was the previous entry in this blog.

Tolstoy is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.