As parents, once you have a child your life changes completely and your adventures in life change as well; as ours did – to focus all the time on David.
From the very first days when he was home from the hospital, David and I wrestled all the time – gently at first of course – but he always had to “struggle” to get free from all of the positions I put him in.
The best thing about wrestling for a child is that it exercises every muscle in their body while having great fun – and it provides lots of physical contact as well…which is good for everyone after all.
After wrestling there was always time to chill out and rest; and more often than not I was the one that needed the most rest!
Even a little guy gets tired after an afternoon of wrestling; and when little guys finally fall asleep…they go deep into dreamland.
My wife and I always thought that David would someday be perfect for the theater, because he was as dramatic and full of life as any child we’ve ever known.
David had lots of “little friends” and his three favorites were – “bear,” “tiger” and “sheep.”
When David wasn’t wrestling with me he often had one of his little friends with him – and put them all through their paces…including wrestling.
With “sheep” under his arm and “bear” at his side, David was full of action and there was never a dull moment around him.
David pauses at the gate into our backyard from the new deck, and the climbing roses and English Ivy were beginning to fill in the lattice work as we had hoped.
David loved nothing better than making a “run for it” whenever he could get away with it, always knowing that it would end up with my wife or I “scooping him up in a giant bear hug” once we caught up with him.
I sanded, primed and painted the deck to ensure that it was splinter free, and it became a great place for David to play during the summer of 1988.
With a small “play pool” and afternoon shade on those long and hot summer days, the deck was an ideal family “hang out” and a safe place for David to play outside.
The deck was a perfect place for David to take his tricycle for a spin, and every day he seemed to change and grow up right before our eyes.
The amazing thing about children is their pure emotional innocence; they don’t mask emotion…and what you see is what you get.
The other end of the deck was now finished as well, and the sharp line of the gray paint up against the brown exterior fence made for a nice contrast.
David’s “Mickey Mouse Train” got quite a workout on the deck, as it glided very nicely across the painted surface in any direction.
A child’s “emotional honesty” is so refreshing to see because there is no masking their emotion, and once a child learns how to hide their emotions to be more “grown up” there is a complete loss of innocence that is actually quite tragic.
We brought our parakeets outside whenever we could, and always gave them the option of either being in the sun or the shade – and for our birds going outside was always a pleasure.
As long as we were outside with him, David had the entire backyard to run in and explore; and everyone knows that it’s best to run through the thick green grass barefoot…of course.
Our little “Surfer Dude” was clearly becoming his own man, with a spunk and attitude that gave him confidence to challenge and conquer his world.
By definition, when you have children you should give them as much freedom as possible to explore their world – all the while staying safe of course; and from the beginning you prepare to let them fly away from the nest on their own one day.
David runs through a natural setting in Portland, Oregon, where we took a vacation up to the great northwest; and also visited family and friends in Vancouver and Bellevue Washington.
Here David checks out the deck and a lounge chair while visiting relatives in Bellevue, Washington – who spoiled all three of us like there was no tomorrow.
David and I ride an indoor merry-go-round during our trip up to the northwest, and I think we both enjoyed it more than we expected to.
One of the great pleasures of being a parent is being able to experience again the innocent joys of childhood – without embarrassment.
One of the keys to mastering life, in many ways, is to never lose the innocence of youth – and retain the joys of looking at life through the eyes of a child.