Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Luke & Dad’s First Year and Three Quarters

A child is carving out a piece of your heart, giving it a pair of legs, a sense of independence and setting him free. He is at once you and not you at all. Luke, I relish your victories as if they were my own, maybe more, set free from the reins of my own humility and denial. The bumps have been sudden and shocking; the smallest disappointment is a needle jabbed into a daddy voodoo doll.

From an evolutionary standpoint this makes sense. I am a protector with superhero sensitivity to the dangers you face and an enabler, giving you a safe place to test the edges of your confidence. I push you to take risk even as I'm terrified you are going to get hurt. Together we dance in experimentation often stumbling over one another’s feet.

In this process, our interchanges have become rich, but our most meaningful dialog is captured in a single word ...


If you Googled “Luke’s vocabulary,” “No” would be number one on the buzz index. “No” is your simple statement of independence, that you have a say and you’re not going to be pushed. It’s actually a very healthy word and you provide a healthy dose of it! Admittedly, if you Googled “Harry’s vocabularly,” “No” would be number two after “Oh NO!”

(Of course, “No” for me is about control too. You change my environment as much as I change yours and it’s not always comfortable.)

Things would go more smoothly if you didn’t like leaping off couches, jumping from chairs, dashing down hills and tackling Churchill. We’ve bred a stunt man. Your head is a portrait of bruises and your nose is burned red from a face plant that scared the hell out of Grandma Moore. On our recent vacation in Ziwataneo, Mexico, you underscored the extent of your lunatic fringe -- you took a running leap off a ledge screaming “Darebebillll!” falling onto your unsuspecting father lounging below.

You are an adrenaline junky at one and three quarters years old and your body has somehow managed to adapt. You are a tough, physically gifted boy for your age. When we go to the park, you make three and four year olds look slow and uncoordinated, dribbling the soccer ball around them. I often apologize to embarrassed fathers when they realize your age. Yes, I’m a proud father, I admit it.

You can flat out run. It’s not a graceful stride but rather a fast paced bobble. Nonetheless, you are the superhero boy in The Incredibles, Dash: a short, blonde and speedy two footer.

You often highlight your skill to strangers as you fly by: “Me Fast!” I’m getting a sponsorship from Crocs, your sprint shoe of choice.

Your heart still belongs to all large, moving, mechanical things – trains, planes, automobiles – but you’ve refined your tastes to subtle things like color and feature. Trucks aren’t just trucks anymore; you like blue trucks with big tires and interesting trim. By the way, “BaaaLuuuu" seems to be your favorite color. Though you still love pointing out vehicles, you haven’t mastered all the tongue twists leading to exclamations like,“Big Red fireFUCK!!!”

In February we took a family vacation to Ziwataneo, Mexico. This was your first international trip and as a result we got your first passport. Icline took you to get the passport photo and you were clearly dubious of the process:

I love that picture.

We rented a beautiful house from your Godfather Rick’s uncle that overlooked the beach. Keara and Grandpa Weller visited while we were there. My favorite memory was catamaran sailing with you and Rachel across the bay. Up until that point, boats where cool objects sitting lazily on vast water. I held you tight as the water whipped by and savored your expression of "Holy Shit!"

Unfortunately, the vacation wasn’t without stress because the house was built on a cliff with an embedded infinity pool. I was terrified you would either fall off the cliff edge or fall into the pool. I fabricated a fence from fishing net and wood rods to bar you from those areas. It worked but next time we’ve got to do more diligence on our rentals!

I'm going to add a new feature to these blogs which is a video interview of you every quarter. Here is our first interview in the Ziwataneo vacation house.

This quarter we’ve investigated schools for you and we've had a heck of a time of it. It’s silly looking for a school for you at this age, but apparently the competition has begun! Fighting for a school slot is pure insanity but tolerating evaluation or judgment of us or you is abhorrent (even when they make the “right” call). Man, I hope the human race slows its pace. It’s getting scary out there.

Lakh tirikh,