Living the dream

By Published On: July 26th, 2013

What is THIS? Another sappy post?! Why yes, yes it […]

What is THIS? Another sappy post?! Why yes, yes it is. Here goes …
I am somewhat of a perfectionist. But I think what I’m much more deeply afflicted with is romantic idealism. To put it simply, I have all these images and ideas in my head of how things should look, the way things are going to go. Invariably, they almost never go that way. And then I go berserk. Like Bub, I just stand there asking myself WHY. On the bad days, I answer.
“Why didn’t this work out? Well, why was her nap so short? Well, why wasn’t she tired? Well, why does she have diarrhea? Well, who gave her so much fruit?”
And so on.
But then sometimes, just sometimes, things DO live up to the ridiculous standards I set. And it is absolute magic. Like today.
I told Bub I was going to get lunch ready, that’s it. I don’t remember giving him any instructions at all on this particular occasion. I just made sure the small things were put up and then released the two of them into the steel cage of my brother’s living room. Ding.
A couple minutes went by and I didn’t hear much. Not the usual “NO HP, that’s miiiiiine!” We’re working on sharing. It’s actually Rule #3. Or The Enforcer in action: “No, HP, we don’t play with CORDS!!!!”Instead, I started to hear some beautiful music wafting through the airspace:
“Do you want to play cars with me, HP? Here you go.”
I thought for a moment the lad was suffering from mild heat stroke. Was there a gas leak in this apartment? I feel like we’ve been banging our heads against the wall with Rule #3, but maybe we’d had a breakthrough. Then it got even better.
“You have to tilt it, HP,” he said, about her newfangled sippy cup. “Here, let me show you. Like this. Now you try. There you go.”
It was incredible. I mean, THIS is why fools like us have more than one child, right? I want them to be besties so badly that even these few fleeting moments of non-disagreement warmed my heart in a way I cannot possibly convey. This wasn’t just Bub entertaining her, or policing her behavior. This was different, gentle. They seemed to genuinely enjoy one another’s company. She was learning, he was a willing teacher. And they were laughing.
My brother and I are so close; I’ve asked my parents how they did it, for some pointers. They don’t remember a lot of specifics—it WAS a long time ago, in their defense. But I am a firm believer that that stuff does not happen automatically. It is fostered, it is taught. The best thing my parents gave my brother and I growing up was each other. And I just want to do the same for my kids.
Well, before they could form that hip hop duo Bunk Bedz 4 Life, the record hit this scratch: “Noooo, HP, don’t touch my race track. That’s MYYYYYYYYYY race track, HPeeeeee!”
Ah, well. I wanted to get a video, but the camera was in there, and it would have instantly killed the mood. But it was fun while it lasted. Hopefully it’s not a one-hit wonder. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.