I had a few moments to relax in the upstairs hall gliding chair tonight. I was waiting to get the report from the wife regarding our youngest and his fever. Presumably, hopefully, no big deal. Just typical kid with a cold type stuff. Little dude looked fine to me, and by virtue of his stink eye that he gave me, he must be in good spirit.
I usually can call forth a smirk from beneath that eye that betrays him every time.
The magic of being a parent.
As I sat there in the ten o’clock dim of the hallway the cats came upstairs. Basically the whole house was changing shifts. Humans going to bed, cats getting up. It was a rare treat to see all three cats in one place, which doesn’t happen too often outside of when tuna is served in our kitchen at lunch time.
Daphne is our oldest. I’m not sure why she was hanging around. Maybe the two kittens were intruding on her late night routine. After all I was upstairs which is a rare occurrence at this hour, so maybe the kittens thought we were having a party. The two of them proceeded to tear around like maniacs. Up and down the ship’s ladder they would go. Daphne just watches, throwing her definitive sitting cat profile against the dark hall. As I venture downstairs Daisy shows off her acrobatics. I don’t bear look at her as she jumps from step to rail, crossing a twenty-foot chasm between the two. She’s gonna use up all nine lives in short order. She’s thin as a rail with the longest legs you’ve seen on a cat. The vet is amazed by her physique and circus-like abilities. Dixon is her polar opposite in so many ways: he’s huge and not the least bit graceful. He’s also the softest cat you’re likely to encounter in the days you’ve been given.
As I write this Dixon and Daisy are driving me nuts. They are wound up and chasing each other. Only calm comes when Dixon finds a squishy ball and mouths it like a child with their blanky. Shrilling, hoping that someone plays with him. Then it’s off to the races chasing Daisy around tirelessly. You’d think the kids were up for all the noise those little paws make.
Today’s other remarkable moment came courtesy of our oldest son. He wanted to play with me, and me being the horrible father that I am I met him halfway by hanging out with him while he did most of the heavy-lifting in terms of play time. Tonight he had an old photo printer that gave up its ghost last year. He brought out several neatly packed boxes and placed them at the foot of the chair. With the gentle care that I would imagine a surgeon has, laying out instruments before an operation, he proceeded to take out each component of what was left of the printer. Then under my watchful eye he proceeded to reassemble the thing without any help from his old man. You could tell he’d been practicing all day. He even figured out that the circuit board ribbons probably connected into the circuit boards somehow. I intervened just enough to make that happen.
He asked me if it would work now that he put it back together. I told him it wouldn’t. I’d thrown a bunch of the components, most of them likely critical to making the thing operate, when I dissembled it in a fit of low-grade rage months ago. I have no doubt if we had those parts, he’d have had that thing working; at least to the extent that it worked before. I was impressed and proud. He’s a smart little kid. I suppose they all are; isn’t that what it means to be a parent after all.
He’s got a knack for taking things apart and wondering how they go together. He’s always devising how to improve them. He will add buttons to things to represent as yet to be seen functions that only a five-year old can conjure in their mind. He “invented” some sort of robot earlier today and gave it a name…something or another that I couldn’t imagine pronouncing. He’s a carbon copy of me, with a few minor differences here and there. I think its genetic because quite frankly, I don’t play with my kids that much. So it’s not like we have drawing, or building time or anything. Maybe he figures if he invents stuff he can lure me into hanging out with him more.
I don’t know.
Watching him tonight, with his printer, I said a prayer right there and then hoping that he only gets the good and leaves the bad. That he goes on to be successful in whatever he does. I suppose they all do; isn’t that what it means to be a parent after all.
Alright I’ve got two cats I need to strangle. And stink eye’s fever is going down which is good.
Treasure and enjoy what they gave you, peeps.
Go get what they didn’t.