When I was a boy I dreamed the magnificent stupid dreams of a boy. I dreamt about the next series of GI Joe action figures, I dreamt of getting ninja climbing claws, I dreamt of being in New Kids on the Block.
I’m man enough to admit that now.
But dreams, like boy bands, are fleeting things. Dreams of action figures give way to dreams of video games, then dreams of having social skills, then back to action figures (except now it’s about having the ones you used to have still in their original packaging). And then the 2nd decade hits and all our fantasies coagulate into dreams of money and having control over our circumstances.
Dreams are different things for a parent. Instead of dreaming of the exceptional, you dream of the adequate. You dream of ‘enough.’ You dream about having enough money for his education, you dream about him being straight-laced enough to stay out of prison. You dream about having enough diapers in the bag to last you till 5pm.
We’ve always been a mobile group, my little family unit. In the absence of any real day-care routine we usually strike forth from home up to 3 times a day on various adventures. When he was just a peanut we’d go for long long walks in the moby wrap, now we visit the library, the museum, anywhere we won’t be judged and don’t have to pay to be there.
There was a time about a year ago when the little man was old enough to enjoy the park, but not under his own power. When everything was just too tall for him, too steep for him, and too enticing for him to resist. And I’d dream of some day, off in the future, when we could come to the park and I could do that thing you see parents do. Where the kid is playing, and instead of stumbling around after them, the parent is, like, sitting.
I dreamt of sitting. Don Quixote, eat your heart out.
And though my attitude towards the empire of Walt “Mouschwitz” Disney is summed up nicely with a phrase that begins with “S,” ends with “T” and rhymes with “Suck it.” I must admit that they’re right on one point.
Dreams can come true.
We did it. We sat, we aunts, uncles, grandparents, as Little Man and his cousin bumbled and climbed and dashed around the park. And then, and then – get this – we went back home, and had lunch. The adults all sitting around the table and talking while the kids ran around and played. And I feel like pouring a 40 over Norman Rockwell’s grave.
As their development brings new challenges and worries, so does it bring new victories. Yes, they will sleep. Yes, they will eat solid foods. Yes, my sleepy brothers, yes, you can sit.
Yes, you can sit.