My son launches into a cackling spell befitting a dictator watching an enemy fall. Or, at the very least, bellowing as any genius villain would in a James Bond flick. Finn has a great laugh. Even when it’s forced, the wind flies from his lungs and I get the impression he’s letting the whole world know he’s enjoying himself. He’s sopping up the moment. Broadcasting his joy.
We have a lot more moments like these nowadays. It’s funny to think that I get along better with an almost-four-year-old than I do with anyone my own age. His laugh makes me laugh. His logic, hewn from an unvarnished belief system, is more genuine than all the counterfeit “grown-ups” walking around trying to prove they’re right or honest. Somehow, he still manages to be as ridiculous as ever. Maybe rationality and foolishness are more corresponding than we know.
The newness of having a baby makes every single moment a milestone. You live your life in a constant state of awe and observance. Maybe you’re the overprotective parent who wants nothing to ever befall your child. Maybe you’re a sort a parent journalist wanting to record every moment so it never slips away. Maybe you just want to do a good enough job. For me, I was stricken, steeled and love-stung. But the experience of raising an infant was also fraught with rough moments of being very frustrated, utterly impatient and not in control of my anger. Mainly, I grappled with myself and struggled to understand my own child as well as how best to help.
I still do.
I also find myself writing differently about my boy when I speak of him in the printed word. We live in these experiential and adventurous times now. An intersection of mortal timelines. As he grows, there are so many decisions to be made. Constant adjustment is required and we continually jibe or tack depending on the gust. These decisions have made me put down the camera and close the laptop. I want to help him climb not simply write about his ascent.
We have grown together so much now. Side by side. Every day, I see his trickster perspective developing. Finn’s got the coyote spirit in him, a quality he shares with his father and his father’s father. I learned about the coyote when I was a very young boy. Coyote was often a trickster hero, standing as a mediator between the living and dead worlds. He would steal what was precious for his own pursuits. He could look like one of us, but secretly never was. He wasn’t malicious, just looking for a good time and couldn’t help his mischievous habits. Sounds familiar.
You can see it in his eyes, my son will grab some piece of this world to steal for himself and play a game with it. Perhaps, humankind will be better for it in some small way.
I’d like to think we are friends and that would we would’ve been friends had we grown up together as kids. We would’ve run into the forest and howled at the moon. If you and your kid had been born at the same time, would you have been friends?
Go play some tricks.
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