…. The birthday party was a hit… there were four generations of various relatives in attendance & quite a few family friends… we had a wondrous time….of course, I did get a voicemail from the party animals out at Richard’s crib tonight calling me names like Lame-O, Loser, and No-Show Jones…. Hey, boys?... the 1980s called… they want their taglines back……. sheesh…..

…. I love watching children play….. they absolutely amaze me with their energy and sheer happiness…. It is one of the purest and uplifting scenes that can be witnessed….. and I’m not talking about watching a kid sit in front of a TV playing a video game… I’m talking about running, jumping, playing basketball, beating the crap out of each other, etc….. REAL play…. rumbling balls of action and movement….. I just can’t help but love it….hell, I want to BE one of them…. Screw the taped ankle, bad back, and sore shoulder….. I want to wrestle, jump, and scream like a little banshee too!...

…. which is probably why I enjoy going to blogmeets so much, actually…. But I’m getting sidetracked here, so we’ll cut that train of thought with a nice “nevermind”…

…. See, my cousin “Big Daddy C” has four boys….. and they range in age from 11 to 4… and each one of them – while miniature images of him – are unique in their own way….. and yes, I know that idea really makes no sense, but that doesn’t stop it from being true…..

… anyway, at one point in the evening after dinner had been served, Big Daddy C and I walked up to the mailbox to discuss adult things away from the thronging masses…. We stood there for a while peppering imaginative expletives throughout our conversation and watching his youngest huff and puff as he worked his tricycle up to the top of the driveway where we were…..

… the kid is four years old….

… his tricycle was one of those that had the pedals welded to the front wheel…. remember those?..... every time the wheel turns the pedals move too….. yeah….

… so the little fellow steadies himself on his tricycle right beside us, and turns to face the herd of milling people down in the garage about 70 feet away…. he tightens his grip, looks up at me and Big Daddy, licks his lips, and cocks his little legs up against the pedals….

Big Daddy C: …. “Be careful, boy….. that driveway is steep..”

Boy on Tricycle: …“EEP!”

Me: … “Good God, he isn’t, really, is he?..... no way…. he’ll be killed…”

Big Daddy C: …. “yep…. He is the youngest….uh oh, he’s pedaling…”

Narrator: … now, I must interject a fact or two here for clarification’s sake…. See, the house is in a bit of a dip….. this resulted in the mailbox being nearly level in height with the guttering of the house…. the driveway itself was composed of smoothly poured concrete….. in fact, and for all intents and purposes, the driveway from where the little boy launched himself was practically a “stunt ramp”… but only reversed…

Me: …. “… Holy Shit, man…. You know that they are going to blame us when he wipes out, right?”..

Big Daddy C: … “yep… but the boy has got to learn…”….

…. I couldn’t believe my eyes, people…. five strokes into his descent and gravity took over….. his little legs just couldn’t keep up with the Great Forces of Nature… he’s flying down that driveway with his tiny hands on the handlebars and both legs flayed out to keep them away from the bone-crunching power of the out-of-control pedals…..

… I just knew that he was toast…..

…. But, like a seasoned daredevil, he held on and lived to ride another day…. coasting into a frightening “bump” against the easternmost guttering just right of the garage’s opening….

… now, you must understand…. While Big Daddy C and I were calmly watching from up near the mailbox, everyone else (everyone was in the garage) was completely freaking out as young skippy sped towards them…. No doubt fearing for his life AND their own…. (.. it must be quite frightening to be in the path of a Toddler On The Edge..)

…. There was pandemonium 70 feet away….. adult cries of “Save HIM!” alternated with elderly cries of “Run For Your Lives!”…. meanwhile, Big Daddy C and I just watched it all unfold…. Hey, in my defense, I was just taking cues from him… I mean, he IS “The Daddy”….. so I figured he knew what he was doing….. (.. although, I must admit that as the little tike neared the guttering, my hand had already searched my pocket for my cell-phone in case a 911 call had been needed…)

…. And in the end, all went as was expected…. Nobody died….no one was hurt….. and five minutes later the little guy looked up at us from the garage and started pushing his tricycle again….

Me:… “uh oh…. Hey, he survived the first try…. Here he comes again…”

Big Daddy C: …. “…. Nope…. Just watch..”

…. And Big Daddy was right….. the child stopped halfway up the drive, mounted his bike, and turned to show us both a huge, toothy smile…..

Big Daddy C: ….”see?.... he learned HIS little lesson….. look, I guarantee to you that his ride scared HIM as much as it scared US… but me telling him ‘NO’ wouldn’t have done any good…… and besides, he had already launched before we knew what was happening and there was nothing we could do to stop him….. but he has to learn some lessons for himself….. and today, well, he’ll not be trying that shit again….”

Me: …. “yeah, well, that may be…. But if he’d crashed, Missy would have kicked BOTH of our asses…”

Big Daddy C: …. “true…. but he didn’t crash….. he found his limitations…. And here is the kicker, Eric….. no one can tell you about your limitations….. YOU have to find them…. And the only way that you can do that is by doing stupid shit like my 4-year old just did…” ….

by Eric on March 31, 2007 | Bullshit (15) | TrackBack (0) | Thinking
Bullshit So Far

Holy crap. I do believe what I have read here is the big difference betweens fathers and mothers. Good Lord.

I will interject however and say, having only three boys, that I view my primary job on some days as keeping Darwin's theory of the Survival of the Fittest from enacting itself upon my offspring, thereby eliminating them from the gene pool.

Perhaps that is a Mother's Thought...

Bullshitted by Bou on March 31, 2007 09:19 PM

Big props to Big Daddy C. Be sure and tell him I said howdy.

Of course the flip side is another opened can of worms. The boy might not have an edge to his envelope. I may not have grabbed the hot stove more than once, but I did try multiple leaps off of barn roofs with various homemade parachutes, ramped bikes across creeks, etc. etc. The folks at the local emergency room had my insurance card number memorized.

Good on the tot for hanging on to the beast. Sometimes you just have to hang on and beat the damn thing into behaving.

Tell Big Daddy C to be sure and get a Snell approved helmet that has an appropriate fit.......;>)

Bullshitted by bitterman on March 31, 2007 09:26 PM

What a beautiful story. It reminds me of my own youth when we were allowed to take risks.

Bullshitted by Libby on March 31, 2007 10:55 PM

What a beautiful story. It reminds me of my own youth when we were allowed to take risks like that. And a great moral about limitations.

Not that I would had the nerve to let the kid do it, but it's a really good point.

Bullshitted by Libby on March 31, 2007 10:57 PM


Reminds me of my own pet theory that the reason the little buggers are built so close to the ground is so that they won't have so far to fall... And yet...there's something about boys that just wanna see how far they can bounce.

Bullshitted by Nancy on March 31, 2007 11:18 PM

*I* didn't call you Lame-O, Loser, or No-Show Jones. I just said you "pulled a Catfish". Which, in the grand scheme of things, is far, far worse. Pussy.

Bullshitted by zonker on April 1, 2007 01:28 AM

The process is called "testing the limits of the envelope." We boys were past masters of it back in the 1950's, in the days when parents took a more measured, Darwinian view of life...

...and, yes, I do believe it may be a "boy" thing...

...although Elder Daughter certainly tested the envelope in her own way when she was a high-school lass...the Mistress of Sarcasm was wise enough to observe said testing, and thus knew where the edge of the envelope lay, having no need to test it herself.

Bullshitted by Elisson on April 1, 2007 06:43 AM

no one can tell you about your limitations….. YOU have to find them….

Now that right there is a wise observation.
Worthy of a monk sitting on a mountain top in Tennessee.

We had two of the grandchildren this weekend. Sure wish I could bottle their energy and sell it. Of course it would have to be watered down three to one to keep older more fragile bodies from just exploding while sitting there in front of the boob-o-tube.

Bullshitted by kdzu on April 1, 2007 07:19 AM

What a great story Eric - I know exactly what you mean about seeing kids really play and how it makes you want to just feel like that again.

My almost-18-year-old is taking off on a "tricycle" of his own at the moment. It doesn't get any easier to watch that descent. I'm hoping he'll learn like the little tike in your story.

Bullshitted by Chickie on April 1, 2007 07:39 AM

Awesome post man. I was gonna offer the helmet suggestion, but bitterman beat me to it. Maybe bitterman will lend him one of his parachutes too.

Bullshitted by RedNeck on April 1, 2007 09:16 AM

Remember this when your's is 4 years old.
My Congrats to Big Daddy C.
He reminds me of my Dad, I had 14 broken bones while growing up.

Bullshitted by Keeskennis on April 1, 2007 10:38 AM

not just a helmet. Body armor, too.
Bet if that kid wanted to jump off a 10 story building the dad wouldn't have let him. Yeah, let him make his choices and learn his lessons, but... Hell, maybe it's just the Mommy in me. Glad the little guy is alright.

Bullshitted by holder on April 1, 2007 02:05 PM

Sometimes the word 'no' has no meaning for little ones; they have to find out the stove is hot by touching it first.

Bullshitted by Michele on April 1, 2007 03:28 PM

Good God that was both a funny & scary story! When I was a kid I was as bad as the boys. Heck, I have enough broken bones, stitches & scars to prove it.

It seems my son is following in my footsteps. Sometimes when I pick him up after school the scrapes, cuts and bruises are indicative of the hard and intense play he's had. I've actually started taking pictures of all of them with my cell phone camera right at the school. I don't want the authorities paying me a visit because of all these bruises. But if they do, I have a record of when, where, how, and by whom, just in case.

Bullshitted by michele on April 1, 2007 11:02 PM

It's a lesson that never changes - if your parents tell you not to climb a tree, you'll do it anyway and find out the sore way that falling out of it hurts. I was more devious though - I have a brother four years my junior, so I just used him as a living crash test dummy for bike ramps, tree swings and the like.

Bullshitted by Mark on April 2, 2007 07:45 AM