Friday, May 20, 2005

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

A few of my son’s favorite things. As I drove with him yesterday, it was a continual chorus of “Wow!” “Look at that!” “Daddy – I see a woo-woo!” “I wanna see a woo-woo!” and so on. If we’re walking and he hears a plane overhead he’ll search the sky looking for it. Then he’ll ask “Where’s it going?” and I’ll tell him it’s going to the airport. He doesn’t like the idea of a plane going to the airport, so he’ll tell me “Noooo!”. So I’ll start to make up places where the airplane could be going, like the store, home for dinner, the park etc. Everywhere I mention gets the same “Noooo!”, and when I ask him where the plane is going I get my question repeated back to me. While it may sound tiring, it’s actually a lot of fun.

What is it about little boys that makes them love cars, trucks, tractors, planes and so on? As his interest grew I started showing him pictures in books and pointing them out on the road, which entertained him to no end. I’ve taken him to tractor dealerships, Husqvarna being my personal favorite right now, mainly because it’s the only major one in the immediate area. I don’t think the maker of the tractors is going to make any real difference at this point, however.

As we sat at dinner last night I was struck by what a little person he’s becoming. We were having a discussion on the possible destinations of the two bugs he had spotted on the other side of the window, and he tilted his head and was obviously thinking about something. There was just something about the gesture which touched me – made me think about the person he could become someday. I want him to be just like me, but I know that’s not going to happen. He’ll be his own person, but I can help shape that person. I thought about the way he behaves, how happy he is, his interactions with people and other kids and realized that so far, his mother and I are doing a pretty good job despite all the things that have happened.

I love being a dad – who wouldn’t with a son like this little guy? I thought I knew what being a parent entailed before he was born, but I had no idea what having a child will do to you.

I saw something else yesterday which makes me glad I don’t fly off the handle easily. As we were waiting to get a table at the restaurant, a man came in and went to the front of the line. I saw that he was wearing a badge from the Department of Health, but he was there to eat. That’s a good sign. Anyway, he was there talking to the hostess for about a minute when the rest of his party came in behind him, a woman and two children. They were immediately shown to a table. I was a little disgusted at the man’s use of his position to get a table ahead of everybody else, but certainly didn’t feel it was very important. Somebody else in line, however, thought it was important. I could hear a woman behind me angrily muttering something about talking to the manager and “who did he think he was” type talk. Another woman spoke up defending the man. Apparently he had been in line before and had the opportunity to take a table and wait for the woman and two children to arrive, but declined so other people could sit and eat. I’m not sure how he ended up outside, maybe he was waiting for them out there. A few minutes later my son and I were seated and we got the table right next to his. He was not the father of the two kids (not important how I knew), but he obviously treated them very well. They were having just as much fun at their table was we were at ours. When we got up to go my son was smiling at them and suddenly got shy, hiding his eyes and trying to walk at the same time. I was very impressed with the Health Department guy – he was obviously a good step-parent.

Now I have another post to make based on the happenings of this morning.