Carson Anthony is a fun-loving almost 2 year old (April 16th, to be exact). Me and my wife of almost 5 years have always tried to instill in him kindness, goodness, and respect for others, as I’m sure is the goal of most parents. I must say, me and my wife’s ambivalent personalities has turned Carson into a surprisingly outgoing toddler that I find, at times, in deep thought.
For example, one of his favorite pastimes is tinkering with any and all restraints put on him…from his car seat, to his swing, to even his high chair. Whatever mechanism we have put in place to keep our little bar of gold bruise-free and alive, he, in his mind, has decided that these “things” are not necessary and that it’s urgent to get them off immediately. And so begins his constant fixation with unbuckling…I’m guessing he needs to solidify an escape plan? Who knows?
Since he has become old enough to sit unassisted, whenever we would take him out of his car seat, Carson would immediately turn around and try to re-buckle the seat. At first, we thought this was cute. Until he broke off one of his latches. (inserts eye roll)
A similar thing happened with his swing. This jewel of a contraption was our pride and joy! We could sit him in it, turn on a TV, and be able to get small tasks accomplished, like a load of dishes or a shower while he would just sit there, seemingly blissful, gazing at his favorite animated show. All the while, though, his fingers were nimbly moving back and forth against the clasp.
On the day he figured out how to get out, I had sat him in his swing with his sippy cup to watch his morning worship program as I went to shower. I finished and realized it was eerily quiet; I was used to his singing along with the program. Hoping he had fallen asleep, I tiptoed around the corner to be sure of what I thought would be some extra “me time,” only to find him in an almost full straddle split, one foot at the head of the swing and the other at the foot, both hands tightly wrapped around the top.
I tried not to react, although my heart was wildly racing. As I slowly yet briskly walked to him, he looked at me with a grin as if to say “I’ve got it!” This child of mine is going to be the death of me!
Although there are scary moments, the joy he brings far outweighs them. My wife and I own a salon, so, needless to say, we must have a massive measure of “people skills” in our field of profession. Naturally, we want to be sure that Carson is sociable. This is where I feel his goodness comes in.
When people speak to him, he usually always speaks back. Of course, there are his bad days when we have to remind him, “Carson, she spoke to you, say hi” and he will then greet our client or give a hand wave, which I’m ok with. I know it may not seem like much, but it’s a big deal to me; I really dislike when an adult speaks to a child and the kid stares back as if the person just spoke to them in a foreign tongue. Kids can make you feel really small at times!
I credit Carson’s mother with developing that within him. We have regular meetings for worship twice a week. We arrive early and my wife takes Carson around to everyone: old, young, man or woman, and he speaks and shakes their hands. One day, me and my wife drove separately, and I had Carson. Carson and I arrived early and found our seats. I took his coat off and he immediately turned around and went to the back of the auditorium.
I thought no big deal of it as I watched him. There is an older sister who is blind who sits in the back, usually by herself. Carson padded over to her, pulled his 20 lbs. body up onto the chair directly beside her, and proceeded to repeatedly say “Hi!” and grabbed her hand. Talk about a proud father moment!
We can feel the humanity that has already developed in this 1 year old! To see past differences and disabilities and see a human is something we all need to master, and I’m beyond grateful that this small glimpse of goodness was shown to me. Now I get to share it with you!
About the Author
Randy is an active father and husband residing in Portsmouth, Virginia. When he is not watching “Curious George” with his toddler, he can be found meditating. In his tiny bit of spare time, Randy does 30-second dance parties and belts out off-key tunes. Visit www.instagram.com/bellahair_studio to see some of his work!