Socks, Beauty and Heart

Today we thought we would share a few loosely connected observations and updates to celebrate our 200th blog entry.

First, Chris still isn’t wearing dark socks with sandals, as we previously feared he might. However, we note that Chris usually writes this blog, and accurate self-reporting is a major problem for fathers who wear dark socks and sandals. Hence, independent verification may be necessary. Can anyone on the world wide web report a time they have seen Chris wearing socks and sandals? How about socks under any circumstances?

Everett has preserved a couple of pronunciations from his baby days: lellow for yellow, grinilla for gorilla or granola. There is otherwise almost no trace left of his infant or toddler years. In fact, he has grown big and strong enough to cause injury while roughhousing. These days Chris often has bruises or bumps on his face from head collisions that result from the facts that: 1) Everett’s head is fully hardened; 2) his body has become heavier; 3) he has become faster and stronger. He doesn’t quite seem to understand that he is now capable of hurting Dad, and his motor control hasn’t quite kept pace with the growth of his body.

On Friday afternoon and evening Chris hosted everyone from his lab for the annual lab party. We played volleyball in the afternoon and afterward Everett got everyone to participate in galloping races.
Then we went to Alem for a fantastic Ethiopian dinner. Everett was great during dinner and spent the entire time socializing with people around the table. When it was time to leave he went to each person, shook their hand and said goodbye. This is probably a behavior he has learned from the greeter at his school. At one point during the dinner Everett hit his head on the corner of a table and Meri-Jo expressed surprise that he didn’t cry. Chris explained that Everett rarely cries when he is hurt, but if either of his parents so much as raise their voices he falls apart. This morning Everett head-bonked Chris’ temple for about the third time in three days in the same spot. Everett burst into tears when Chris told him how much it hurt.

The other day when we were cleaning his room we found a musical butterfly toy that he had as an infant. He told us that one song it plays makes him feel “happy sad”. One of the books we are currently reading is The Boy Who Loved Words, so we are waiting for him to start using the term “wistful”.

Everett loves Dada water. Usually this means water that is in the cup that Chris keeps next to his bed at night. Water from Mom’s bedside cup can be transformed into fresh, cold delicious Dada water simply by pouring it into Dad’s cup.

On Saturday evening Everett and Chris were sitting at the dinner table when Everett said:
“Dad, Mom told me that you like girls. There is a girl in 5K and she is beautiful.”
And that was the end of it. When I (Chris) asked him for more details he wouldn’t say anything, and soon we were off doing other things. I have a few thoughts about this. First, he is starting to develop his own social life outside our family, and these relationships will continue to become more complex, especially if girls are involved (just a small joke!). Second, I have written a few times about how new behaviors emerge as he develops. This is not the first time he has expressed feelings suggesting romantic attraction, but it is one of the first times this has happened with a girl near his age. Third, it has occurred to us many times that Everett will eventually reach the age where he doesn’t want his parents publishing the details of his private life on a public website. If the current trends in social media are any indication, he’ll be doing that himself using accounts that don’t include his parents as “friends”. This blog entry is the first time that I have had the sense that discretion might be needed in the foreseeable future. When that happens, I wonder what we will write about?

Final note: last week Chris was traveling for work for a couple days. Before he left the house on Sunday Everett said “Let me give you something so you will remember me.”
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