Just over eight years ago, I was hoping Joe – more than a week late already – would be born on June 6. He’d have the coolest nickname, D-Day, this side of Faber College. In true Joe fashion he came along a few days later. Once when Lia was pregnant the doctor was doing an ultrasound, and said to finish we just had to wait for the baby to move. We waited. And waited. Even then, as an expectant dad, I don’t think I was nervous, but rather amused and annoyed. I never liked to be told what to do either. He eventually shrugged, we did too, then we all went home.
Joe used to lay on the floor wherever you put him. Just lay there and look around. That was our first clue that something was up, but it was also when the calm started to creep into our house.
The first time Joe really fed himself, the time it took to move one piece of food from plate to mouth felt like an hour. We applauded. He turns eight today, and seeing him stand up from sitting on the floor is still like seeing a unicorn. Pack a lunch if you’re accompanying him up a flight of stairs.
I mean all of this in a most positive way, because I know he’s only slow because the alternative is fast, and either way he’s happy. We’ve seen him gobble food, sprint (relatively) up steps, and chase after certain toys. He can totally do all of these things, but his motivation isn’t to get somewhere, it’s to be somewhere. And “oh hey, look … I’m already here.”
When you’ve got a kid like Joe, you spend a lot of time trying to speed him up to match your pace, and you fail. Your Hobsonesque choice is to slow yourself down. Talk about an egg in your beer! For the past eight years we’ve been forced to take it easy.
Lia and I went to dinner the other night. It was just the two of us, but when the hostess asked for a name I said Joe. She said “that’s simple enough,” and Lia and I smiled. Because it is.
Happy birthday Joe – how did eight years go so fast?