Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday, Connor!

Dear Connor,

Every time I turn the calendar on another year of your life, I think “we made it”. And this year was no different. We made it, Connor, through a year of public school. And even though you were the one stuck attending classes, I do mean we. We made it through a few rough patches where you really did try and develop an unpleasant side, and we made it through brilliant days as well. All par for the course, I suppose.

You love games and sports, and everything is a competition. This makes me crazy. It’s hard to convince you sometimes that taking batting practice and tossing the ball would be a lot better use of our time than trying to figure out ghost runners, batting orders, strikes, balls, outs, and scores. Tonight, in fact, when you told me you really wanted to play a game of baseball, I told you “then go find 9 more children!”.

Connor, your mind is doing crazy things these days. These things are simultaneously fascinating and infuriating. Your mind lives in a world of extremes, as far as I can tell. Your dad summed it up perfectly the other night when he told some friends that a conversation with you at a baseball game would go like this:

C: What happened?

The player was out. The fielder caught the ball in the air.

C: So, you mean because the ball did not touch the ground before the fielder caught it, the batter was out?

Yes. If the ball hits the ground first, it’s a hit. If the ball is caught before hitting the ground, the player is out.

C: But the player can get out if the fielder throws the ball to first base and the first baseman catches it before the player gets there, even if it wasn't caught in the air.

Yes. That is correct.

C: But what happens if the player hits the ball and the ball goes really, really high – higher than the stadium. And then, before the fielder catches it, he sings a verse of a song, twirls around on his right foot, and claps 3 times. Then, he catches the ball before it has time to hit the ground, because it was so high up in the air.

At this point, Ed starts to explain why the scenario described is not possible, and becomes annoyed. My answer? “The player is out. The fielder caught the ball before it hit the ground.”

Seriously. What goes on in that head? Where does this stuff come from?

We cannot keep your nose out of a book. We’re the parents who have taken to saying “Connor, you need to put that book down right now, answer my question, and then get ready for bed”. You’re the kid who responds, barely looking up, “huh”? I must remind myself of the days that reading was a chore to try and not go nuts in these many, many instances.

You do not like Helen to tell you what to do. Unfortunately for all of us, bossing people around is not a trait she can suppress easily. So instead, you walk around grumpy at the site of her commands.

Your birthday happened to fall on a family vacation to Rock Springs Family Camp. My family attended this camp when I was little, so it was a real joy to see you running from archery, to horseback riding, to fishing, to the rifle range, to canoeing. You were definitely in your element, and having your two oldest cousins there was icing on the cake.

As it turns out, 6 was good. Six was a year of getting ready by yourself, brushing your teeth by yourself, and generally becoming much more independent. But you're still young enough to want to sleep in my bed on your birthday, which I still find to be pretty sweet.


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