The boy was exceptional today. And I mean exceptional.
In general, since I’m off on Mondays, we follow our way of doing things, our schedule, our understanding. Part of that understanding is that my son will go off center. He’ll test me. He’ll disobey. He’ll fuss. He’ll, well, you get the picture. I hadn’t realized how much fun we had today until Dawn asked him while sitting in the backseat. “How were you today?” she asked. “Were you nice to Daddy?”
I didn’t hear an answer so I offered my own. Driving toward Lake Shore Drive, I told my wife how swell the kid was. Of course, there were the usual repetitions. “Throw your dirty diaper away.” That always requires two or three repetitions. “Sit down for your bottle” takes at least three since he likes to walk around. “Don’t spill the water. Drink it.” He will always forget this because he loves to run his hands through water on the floor. But those things didn’t count when I went on about how nice Bryce was.
It’s not that I hadn’t paid attention all day. I had. But it took the question for me to remember. We played in the morning. We sang as we usually do on Mondays. He ate, got dressed, talked. He played his guitar, which really is a shovel, but I think his grandmother used it as an instrument a few weeks ago and it stuck. He walked around while I folded clothes. We sat outside on the balcony looking at trucks and policemen and nothing in particular. He napped. I got other stuff done. When he woke up, we went on errands. He was a star at lunch, meeting people, saying hello and goodbye and other words only he understood. He was patient while I picked up materials for my class. He even spoke and listened to some of the people at the seminary. Wendy and Margaret talked to him, and though he didn’t say much, he stood there, smiling and listening. I was proud.
He adjusted well to the back and forth of getting in the car and getting out of it. From one parking lot to another, he jumped and kicked when I opened his door, signaling that he was glad to get out of the seat. As the day wound down, we picked up Italian ice from this popular place on Taylor Street. Then we went to Dawn’s job to pick her up. We played outside for twenty minutes while we waited. He tried to exercise with a class that was underway on the lawn. Instead, I steered him from the group, and we exercised. We walked and ran and jumped and screamed and waved at people. And when we were done, we greeted Dawn with sweaty faces.
I was glad when Dawn asked him about our day because it gave me a reason to think about how it went, something I don’t do enough of. It gave me a reason to remember the good parts of the day. Rather than run for the door so I can get to the health club after my wife’s arrival, I wasn’t as exhausted as quickly. And talking about the full fun of the day energized me. We’ll see what happens next week.