Sunday, January 21, 2007
(At the Blossoms of Light show at the Botanical Gardens)
As some of you may know, we have two very cute kiddos. I thought I'd devote this post to them, along with a few fun (and random) photos from our Christmas break in Denver.
First, the Joybear (aka, Ski-Girl): Yesterday she and I went skiing, and we're both ecstatic about the results. For years, I have harbored a dream of skiing down the slopes with my diminuitive daughter by my side, and for the last four winters, we've made a significant commitment (time and money) to put her in ski school. In the end, this has taught her some basic skills, but mostly has helped her to not be afraid of (and to actually enjoy) skiing.
Yesterday, that dream came sharply into focus. When we first hit the slopes, I was worried that she wouldn't want to ride the lifts, that she'd break down crying, that the run would be too steep, or that she would get too cold too quick. But no! She braved the cold, rode the lift like a pro, and hit the runs with gusto. In fact, after I held her back on the first run, she wanted no more of that, and I spent the rest of the morning cautioning her to stay under control. (Over-protective Daddy's are such a drag!) By the end of the morning, we took the big lift to the top of the mountain and skied all the way down, including a couple of blue runs. She fell only four times all day, and didn't cry once. (I'm succeeding in convincing her of the glory of a good biff.)
(Joybear on the mountain top . . . in front of Mom and Dad's house)
Joy also has written and illustrated two "books" now, one about "Numbers and Names" and one about our goldfish, Foxy. They have recognizable plots and meticulously colored pictures. We're helping her with spelling, but otherwise she's doing it all. For being only 5 1/2 years old, we find that pretty amazing. So look for her in Borders soon! (We may have to get her her own blog, too . . .)
Next, the Grant Guy (aka, Monkey Boy): This is one funny boy, and for the most part, he knows it. We (I) allowed him to watch a few clips from Nacho Libre, and now if he doesn't want to do what you ask him to, he responds by crossing his arms and saying in his best faux Mexican accent, "I'm not listening to you. You're crazy!" This started as pure defiance, but has evolved into a surefire way to get Mommy and Daddy to laugh, and thus defuse the situation.
Streaks of his old man (that would be me) frequently surface as well, particularly his intentional annoyingness and humorous pesterings. For example, after a recent difficult day at work, I came home and needed to cuddle with Elizabeth on the couch for a bit. But Grant would not allow it, as he wanted Mommy and Daddy's full attention. He resorted to every trick in the book--whining, making messes, being silly, etc. When those didn't work, he settled on his oldest trick: relentlessly climbing over, onto and around us (and if it were possible, through us). I was distractedly repelling him with my off hand, sharing the day's drama with my patient wife (who is also my wife-patient), when his climbing suddenly mutated into furious head-butting of my shoulder. Stunning in its ferocity, this escalation got him what he wanted, his daily wrestling match with Daddy on the living room floor. The house reverberated with our growing collection of manly epithets, such as "Are you a man or mouse?", "Fight like a man!", and "I will squeeze you like toothpaste!" Mommy, realizing that both of her attention-seeking males had engaged their pestering behavior on each other, wisely utilized the commotion and fled the room.
(Sledding in Denver)
Like all parents, we love our kids and have a special bias towards them. As I watched them playing together this afternoon, I reflected on what our family is . . . and what it will be in the near and distant future. (We had a vivid ultrasound this week that showed a rapidly developing fetus . . . looks like a boy.) It seems like their spirits have been a part of my life for forever already. Can I remember what life was like, what I was like, before Joy and Grant came along? These are two (three) special kids that we've got, and they are going to keep life fun, exciting, busy, challenging, sometimes annoying, and ultimately fulfilling for . . . well, eternity.
Posted by Mark at 2:42 PM