Sometime before Halloween, Ian began to sit up. Well, he was able to continue to sit after being propped up. Kelly had gone antiquing with her mother, and Ian and I were left alone to wallow in our own filth. I’m a television glutton, but despite that afternoon’s selection of Gene Wilder movies I decided to play outside with my son. Not a difficult decision, now that visions of a slack-jawed, six-year-old Ian drooling in a Sponge-Bob-induced coma have started to haunt my dreams.
I took Ian to the porch, and held him in front of a pot of [flowers]. His eyes grew wide at the sight of the delicate, yellow petals, and he leaned forward and began the intricate scientific process of crushing things with his fists. After allowing his reign of terror to continue over every plant in the front yard, I thought I’d give the survivors a chance to recover and let Ian work his might on something already dead.
I sat him in a pile of leaves and sat myself across from him, ready to break his inevitable fall. He didn’t. He just sat there watching, waiting for me to do something interesting. I was amazed. For five months, Ian couldn’t glance to his left without planting his face in the carpet. Yet here he was, playing with the leaves at his feet and following passing cars.
That was last month. Now we think Ian’s being lazy if he doesn’t sit up on his own.
For Thanksgiving, we took Ian to see my family, some of whom hadn’t met Ian or hadn’t seen him for a while. What a performer! He used every act in his repertoire, from playing shy to rolling baby to sitting pretty. Aunts, uncles, and grandparents were tackling each other to wipe the erp from his face. They were enthralled!
Suddenly it felt as if the kid next door had come over to play and found the Lite-Brite I’d left, neglected, at the bottom of my closet. I saw Ian through my family’s eyes, and everything he did was a miracle. I was jealous, and couldn’t wait to get him to myself again. I kept thinking of pathetic excuses to steal him away from loving family members. “Hmm. He smells a bit. Let me just check his diaper…” “Oh, he’s so sleepy! Let me show you how to hold him…” “Back off, grandma! He’s mine!”
Ian’s never really stopped being amazing to me. I’m in constant awe of my son, and how quickly he’s become the focus of my life. But it’s an overwhelming, all-encompassing awe; the awe inspired by the universe, or the miracle of life, or creation. His giggles and sit-ups and jumps and pouts and roll-overs all meld together into something that is My Son. I see [flowers] where Ian sees tiny, yellow petals that are pretty and soft and that would probably taste good if daddy would only let him.
Some people have trouble seeing the forest for the trees; I tend to lose the trees.