On Thanksgiving day, Mommy and I were pulling you around the neighborhood for an afternoon wagon ride, per your request.
We pulled around the corner to find two new grandpas getting out of their trucks, so proud to go inside and see their 8-day-old grandson. The two of them had traveled from out of town to see him.
“Oh, 8 days old? That’s the day he would be circumcised according to Jewish tradition. But I guess he was probably circumcised after just a couple of days while he was still in the hospital, right?”
It didn’t end there. I went on about your circumcision and probably how I don’t remember my own.
Then, finally, I shut up.
I reminded myself to just let those two new grandpas glory in their new grandson.
All I had to do was just smile and say some encouraging comment like, “Just imagine, in two years, you’ll be pulling your grandson around the neighborhood in a Radio Flyer wagon.”
Normally, I wouldn’t have had circumcision on my brain. But I had just finished a book called The Circumcision Decision. And evidently, my filter wasn’t working.
I’m referring to the John Mayer song, “My Stupid Mouth,” where he says, “How could I forget? Mama said, ‘Think before speaking.’ No filter in my head, oh what’s a boy to to do? I guess I’d better find one soon.”
Honestly, it had been a while since I had said something that stupid, making things so awkward that the only way to salvage the situation was to politely walk away and say, “Have a nice day.”
Son, I spent the majority of my childhood saying dumb things out loud, which I instantly regretted. I remember in 5th grade setting a goal of trying to make it one whole year without saying something awkward and embarrassing myself.
Didn’t make it a week.
So much of being successful and influential in life is being able to know what to say to people, but even more important is knowing when just to say nothing at all.
As you grow up, I will be here to help direct you on this. I want you to naturally say less stupid things than I did when I was a kid. I want you to learn from my mistakes.
It’s my wish for you that you won’t be able to relate to John Mayer’s song as much as I do.
I’m assuming it’s pretty typical for infants and toddlers to not enjoy wearing hats.
My experience has always been that if I could sneak a picture of Jack wearing a hat, I was lucky. And then within a nanosecond later, he would always take the hat off his head.
Until this past weekend.
While Jill was at Publix buying groceries, I had put Jack down for his nap. When he awoke, he was ready for me to lead him on an adventure.
Once downstairs, he saw my new white fedora on the kitchen counter; pointing at it and grunting.
I placed it on his head and he liked it, but he seemed to acknowledge the hat was too big for him.
Curious by his sudden interest in a hat, I ran back upstairs with him to his room to pick through the half dozen caps in his top drawer that he has never wanted to wear before.
For some reason, he instantly fell in love with a striped wool cap with a blue puff ball on the top.
Back downstairs, he saw his Radio Flyer wagon and asked me, “Wah-wah?”
So I packed up Elmo, a book, and a water cup; somehow managing to pull the wagon through the front door with Jack in the wagon with those recently named belongings.
Keep in mind that last Sunday afternoon when this event took place, it was nearly 85 degrees outside. What was weird is that he barely sweated. Instead, his neckline was drenched in drool. (He has molars coming in right now.)
It’s hilarious to me that after insisting on wearing a wool cap while being pulled around the neighborhood in a wagon, the look on his face for the majority of the ride was not happy but, at best, stoic.
Granted, he didn’t want out of the wagon, nor did he want the hat off. In fact, a few times when the hat barely started to slip off, he communicated to me (in grunts) to straighten it up for him.
Once Jack stumbles into a routine, good luck on talking him out of it.
I imagine Jack used this road trip (though it was technically a sidewalk trip) to ponder his life thus far.
Perhaps that hat is his thinking cap? [Insert laugh tracks here.]
So much goes through a 17 month-old boy’s head when he finally gets a chance to just stop and think everything; while watching planes fly overhead on their descent to the Nashville airport.
In our neighborhood, there are over 200 townhouses.
People had to hear the wagon rolling in front of their house; looking out their window to see a man in a white fedora pulling a Radio Flyer wagon containing a seemingly dazed and confused little boy who was obviously willingly wearing a wool cap on a humid afternoon.
But since this is evidently one of Jack’s comforting new routines, I imagine soon, that the neighbors will simply say, “Oh, here comes that father and son wagon team again.”
Jack wore his hat for the rest of the afternoon until it was time for bed.