You were worried that the hardest part of having a boy would be the mudpuddles and mischief, but it turns out those are some of the best parts. Sometimes we share a secret masculine delight in smashing things. We pound on pots, and chairs, and the floor. We are loud. Don't tell the liberals, but there will be battles and war. Toy guns, even. For now he's content with dolls, and fairies, and flying horses (though sometimes they fly down the stairs). Our daily adventures will change, no doubt, as he puts more weight against the tiller.
We were a trio and he was our Harpo, but now that's all changed. Everything, now, has its word. And new words are meant to shouted. There was a dam that cracked with the letter B, and through it rushed Ds and Ps and Ms. Everything that was true then, is true again. Only now, his sister is here to share in the delight of every new word, every parroted proclamation from this formerly silent sidekick.
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We stand around in the meadow and I watch my son watch his mother turn cartwheels. The joy of it overwhelms him; he puffs out his chest to contain it all but it escapes in shrieks and giggles. I see her beauty in his face and think, Good: high school won't be as tough for him. He reaches up his hands in imitation of her and plants them on the ground as if to do a cartwheel himself. Falling short, he scurries forward on his hands and feet. Her hand goes to her heart from the cuteness of it.
* * * * *
When you have an older sister, you can't learn to run quick enough. She might have a toy. Or ice cream. And YOU WANT IT TOO. As your walk edges closer to a run, the way you move your arms might remind your father of The Bushwackers making their way to the squared circle:
There's more than a minor resemblance, son. But we'll save the wrestling for when you're older. For now you wrestle with words; you've realized the world is full of them.
And you know now that you can make them, too.