Saturday, August 28, 2010

Daddy, I want fireworks

When Mikey was a wee little newborn, I always wondered just what he was thinking. What did he think when he came sliding into the world under the bright lights of the delivery room? What exactly was he crying about all those late nights when he was well-fed and dry-diapered? Did he have fantastical daydreams about our gigantic heads floating above him or our strong hands always picking him up and moving him around?
Now that he's a talking 22 month-old, the mystery is pretty much demystified. Two simple words describe what a baby is thinking most of the time:  I WANT.  A toddler is a rapid-fire infinite wanting machine. 95% of voluntarily uttered sentences (excluding stuff that we always try to make him say by repeating, like "Bye, bye everybody" or "I love you") involve the expression of a want. Most are pretty reasonable and prosaic. You know, stuff like pacifiers, water, Thomas Train, juice (sigh), and even "Daddy's coffee."

Some things point out to us just how new and magical the world is to Mikey.

Let us rewind several months ago to the 4th of July. Shannon and I met up with Carl, JJ, and Grandma to watch the Georgetown fireworks display. Eschewing the main party area out of fear of the hellish post-show traffic, we wove our way through some winding back roads. Eventually we found a perfect spot with clear sight lines that we guessed would be close to the action. It was close, indeed. 

The shells were bursting almost directly overhead, filling the entire sky above us with brilliant light. We didn't hear the shells exploding. We felt the reports deep in our guts, as if a giant Taco Bell burrito had come to life and was fighting to escape.

Needless to say, it was pretty freaking sweet. I can't remember a more spectacular fireworks show.

And there was little Mikey. He didn't cower or cry at the explosions. He just gaped, little eyes sparkling with his mouth hanging slightly open in astonishment. He had spent the last couple of hours playing frenetically with his beloved JJ. It was way past his bedtime, but he was not tired. This was too awesome to miss.

Fast forward a few months. We attended an outdoor play one evening in Zilker Park. Conditions were similar to the 4th of the July night. In other words, it was dark and hot as heck. This triggered a memory in Mikey's little brain.

"Daddy, I want fireworks."

It's touching that he thinks that I can just summon up the amazing fireworks he saw that night in July. That 15 minute show that cost thousands of dollars and took months to coordinate? Meh, just another little request for the toddler. Pacifier, milk, Thomas Train, go to playground, see spectacular fireworks display on demand. Gotta love him.

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