Archive for Thursday, June 20, 2002

Reflections on ‘ano grande’

June 20, 2002

Buenos dias. I'm turning one on Monday, so I thought I'd give you an update on what I've learned in my first year in life. As you may recall, my last column, shortly after I was born, was full of comical stories about my parents trying to get me to sleep by putting me in my car seat (the only thing that worked), on the dryer, with the vacuum on, on my back and on my stomach. Once they discovered I was in charge, they relaxed, and that helped me get some sleep. Now, I go to bed about 7:30 and I'm full of energy when I awake at 7 a.m.

I started this in Spanish because I think my dad is trying to teach it to me before I learn to speak English. He watches these World Cup soccer games on the Spanish channel every morning before work. He says because he likes the diversity in the house, but I know it's because he loves hearing the announcer scream, "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-

OOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!"

My first year of life was full of fun times. I spend every day with the nicest people in the world, Treavha and Ab. My folks heard about them from Julie Stewart, a lady in town who took her son there. When she heard Treavha made my dad fresh cinnamon rolls in the mornings, she complained so Treavha made her a big ol' pan of them. And they say I'm spoiled.

Christmas was fun. Mostly. We went to Arizona to see my Grandma Cindy. On the flight home, Dad went to change me on the flight attendant's jump seat. He didn't know when he stood up the seat snapped closed, so when he went to throw away the diaper, I got a face full of leather seatback. It scared him, but I'm fine. That's still one I'll remind him of the first time I get in trouble. Talk about your free pass.

My baptism was something my folks will never forget. It was March 30 and started at 8 p.m. Oddly enough, that was the exact same time KU was playing in something called the Final Four. I still haven't forgiven Dad for all the times he pinched me during the service so I would cry and he'd take me downstairs to check on the score. I say he's lucky he didn't have to see his favorite team lose.

One time Mom and Dad took me to the driving range. I was more excited about the grass clippings on the sidewalk than the proper way to hold a 9-iron. Dad says he can't wait until I get older so he and I can take money from Mr. Moyer and Mr. Sample. He also says the only way I'm going to Stanford is through the fairway, whatever that means.

I hear people talk about being stressed and how hard it is in the world today. I know what they mean. I'm having a hard time putting one foot in front of the other, but there were all kinds of people doing that at something called the Relay for Life. I saw Camiryn, a little girl not much older than me, who had cancer. It made my folks and me appreciate the gift of life that much more. We pray for her family every night.

I love spending time with my cousins from Nebraska and Colorado. I had lots of fun when my Louisiana cousins came to town and when I spent a week at the Florida beach (with my Aunt Bee, although Opie wasn't there). Looking back on it, if every year was as fun as this one, life would be great.

So what have I learned? Besides the usualhow to walk, how to feed myself, how to laugh like Woody Woodpecker, how to get attention by throwing myself on the floor and arching my back, a few things.

But I think my folks have learned more than me, if that's possible. They, too, learned how to laugh, how to have patience, how to find pleasure in the smallest joys (you should have seen my dad's face when I took my first steps at home) and how to love unconditionally. I bet lots of folks could stand to be reminded of these things occasionally.

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