This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
Last night we had our good friends Alicia and Victor over for dinner, along with their son — and my godson — Victor III.
Alicia has been my wife’s best friend for years and she’s fantastic. And Vic is awesome too. They both served in Iraq and they were married while stationed in Germany. I can’t think of two other people in the world I have more love and respect for, and subsequently there isn’t a cuter toddler than my godson Vic.
Aside from being terrific people, I admit I have a selfish reason for wanting them to visit from their home in North Carolina more often. You see Vic is almost 13 months, just 10 months older than Will. So when I see Vic and how he’s acting and growing, it’s like I’m getting a sneak preview of what’s in store for me in just a few short months. And honestly, I’m not sure if I’m ready.
Don’t get me wrong, Vic is a great kid. But he’s just so…mobile! He walks and crawls like greased lightning. I’m not even kidding. You turn your head for a second and he’s across the room in a flash. And he’s at the age where he’s into EVERYTHING. I watched with amusement and slight terror as he systematically went through our house and disassembled everything he could get his hands on. I laughed to myself thinking back to earlier in the night when MJ told me she had “baby proofed” the house in anticipation of his arrival. But I’m glad Vic was let loose in the house because it showed us all the areas we need to be watchful of when Will gets to that age.
For instance, I learned that we have a lot of drawers. I didn’t realize how many until Vic wanted to open them all and empty them of their contents. I learned we cannot keep the metal trays and pans in the little cubbyhole next to the stove. Vic had them on the floor and was clanging them around before I could blink. I learned that a 13-month old has no problem crawling through the cat door we have in our gate that blocks the dogs off from the pantry, where the kitty litter and washer and dryer are located. I learned that bed time gets even more difficult than it already is now.
But I also learned that watching him grow up is so great that you don’t even care about all that other stuff. Let him throw all the newspapers on the floor and empty out bags. Who cares?? You can always clean it up. It’s worth it to see his face and watch him figure things out on his own. I imagine it might get a little tiresome every now and then, but it’s not like you can keep kids locked up and do away with their curiosity.
I’m just glad I have the Banks family to use as a lifelong tool to see what’s in store for us as our kids grow up.