Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Cash & Dad’s First Year

In most “guys” movies, the hero, on the precipice of conflict, has a pause, a flash of fight-or-flight. The gladiator eyes the tiger in the Coliseum, the quarterback stares into the teeth of the defense, an Admiral spots the wake of approaching torpedoes. Then comes the deep breath, the clenched jaw, and the decision. “Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!” growled Admiral Farragut in 1864. That moment makes the man. (Actually, the torpedoes were mines in Farragut's case, but you get the point.)

You do not (yet) have the bulging pecks of a gladiator, but you face similar tests in our normally jolly house. Skirmishes erupt not over land or oil but rather … toys. These items, like most of your belongings, predate you as does the former owner who adheres strictly to “first dibs”. Despite being vastly outgunned, you always waddle into the fray for what you want. You choose fight!

Rachel, Luke, Churchy and I capped several months of your rocketing development with your First Birthday Party! Happy Birthday Cashy! We unveiled many “Cashy Only” toys and we celebrated the remarkable changes in you as well as the many Cashy characteristics that haven’t changed at all. You remain a sweet and warm child with a solidity derived of intelligence and, yes, courage.

Did I mention waddling? Oh yes, you waddle around like E.T. stumbling out of Elliott’s closet, arms in the air and screaming! I first witnessed you stand on May 24th, 2009 and shortly after that, on June 7th, you kamikazed across our MacArthur living room into my arms in what I would categorize as a “walk”. Here is the some video of that day:

Bringing up children is navigating one fear after another, some real, others planted unnecessarily by hearsay. It's bad enough that you sleep every night looking like you leapt off a four story building, face planted into your mattress, nose squashed, your butt in the air. But, on top of that, we heard it’s possible for a baby’s head to flatten from sleeping too much in one position. Babys’ skulls are malleable. So how are we going to keep your face from looking like a pancake?! I just remind myself that in parenting as in life there is a vast difference between what’s possible and what’s probable!

The subject of probabilities reminds me that your first words speak to the likelihood of something bad happening:

“Uh Oh!”

Not “Mommy” not “Daddy” but “Uh Oh!” I can’t believe it. I'm not sure how you came up with this. My theory is that your hands go where they aren’t supposed to be, and that we are too lazy to do anything beyond commenting, "Uh Oh!" The other possibility is that, like any good showman, you know suspense should be teed up. Another of your great exclamations drives the show home. You pick up your arms, lift your head, peer at your audience and scream, “Whhooooooaaaaaa!” It’s like you are saying, did you see that?! Waay coool! You did finally say "Da Da" on June 1st, 2009. Whooaa did I feel great.

One final note, you dig music like the rest of us. Interestingly, you've seemed to enjoy watching Luke bang on his drum. Imagine our shock when you picked up the drum sticks on June 21st, 2009 and started beating to the rhythm of Vampire Weekend!