We Remember Those We Have Lost

Sympathy1

It never ceases to amaze me the differences between my two kids.
There are so many examples, but one in particular is on my mind today.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Carson, who just turned 1-year-old this month, wants nothing to do with the spotlight, while Beckett, 2 ½-years-old, is all about being the center of attention.

It’s remarkable to observe this at play, and their particular proclivities were on full display at Carson’s 1-year-old birthday party last weekend.

It goes without saying these kids are still young and their personalities will probably change over time, but at this point Carson unquestionably prefers to observe and be out of the limelight, while Beckett craves the spotlight and relishes when all the attention is on him.

Pam and I have known this was the case for a while, but it’s something to witness these tendencies.

So far, Carson seems to despise when everything is focused on him. During his baptism a couple months ago, he cried during most of the ceremony before a couple dozen family members. The same situation unfolded at his birthday party last week.

What makes this incredibly noteworthy is the kid rarely gets upset about anything. He’s as mellow as they come typically. I like to think he just looks at life with an “I’m just happy to be here” mentality.

However, as soon as the room started singing “happy birthday” to him on Sunday, he threw out his bottom lip, squinted his eyes, turned bright red, screamed louder than I have ever heard him and threw a little tantrum. There he was sitting in his high chair with everyone watching him and that clearly did not sit well, similar to how the baptism ceremony unfolded a couple months before.

Meanwhile, Beckett is standing nearby cutting some rug to the song and trying to get to Carson’s cake with all his might. My oldest loves the role of the consummate goofball and likes putting on a show.

That’s why he was soon after spotted walking around the room with a huge gift bag over his head. I watched as he put the bag over his head and walked squarely into the back of a chair, prompting him to get up and do the same thing over again because he drew a few laughs nearby. He always has been a bit of show off, and Carson is fine with letting his older brother take the lead.

One photo sequence said it all. Carson, decked out in a yellow and red hat his mom picked out, was crying in his high chair with his own little cake in front of him. Beckett is standing directly next to him, reaching with one hand to grab the hat and other hand grabbing some icing from the cake. Of course, he’s looking back and smiling at the camera.

As the attention slowly started to turn toward cake and ice cream, Carson seemed to calm, realizing he was out of the spotlight and that there was a small cake in front of him and that he could do whatever he wanted with it.

This is always fun to watch and he did not disappoint after he got a few tastes of the icing. He was not all that into it at first, confused by this new taste and texture, but with a little help he was soon burying his mouth and nose in the cake. It didn’t hurt that I was sort of shoving it in his face to help.

I turned to see Beckett, on the other hand, had his grimy little hands firmly in his cousin Reagan’s ice cream, trying to steal a few bites.

Yes, my kids are quite different, and it’s fascinating to observe how they are a study in contrasts. It’s going to be interesting raising these boys with their varying personalities.

Beckett is in cardio training.
It was a necessary evil because the kid just has more energy than any toddler should.

If you ever played sports, surely you are familiar with a sprint called a “suicide.” For those who are not, it involves sprinting from one line to another and touching each line with your fingers as you continue the drill.

Since Beckett was particularly rambunctious on a recent morning, I took him in the backyard with our two labs and we “exercised with Bailes (Bailey) and Fetch (Fletch),” as he is fond of saying.

I set up a few items in the yard and we went through the drill together, and he thought it was hilarious. He loved running alongside the dogs and me and laughed the entire time. I, too, was getting a kick out of it. How he was running was just comical.

He had a deliberate high-knee action working, for some reason, and his head was cocked toward me, watching my knees, seemingly to make sure I was keeping pace. All the while he had his right pointer finger extended in anticipation, so as to be sure to touch the stick.

When we would approach the stick, his concentration hit a new level, hitting a knee and touching it with just that one finger, holding it there and laughing until I acknowledged him.

Of course, the idea was to try and exhaust him to keep him from literally bouncing off the walls of the house, not to make him giggle incessantly. Sure, there’s nothing like a kid’s laughter, so it was not altogether a bad thing, but it was amazing to me that he never got tired.

After a few sprints, the dogs wandered off to relax under a tree and chew on some sticks, leaving us alone to continue. Eventually, after a half dozen or so short runs, I put my hands on my knees, and he mimicked, saying, “more exercise daddy.” It seemed to me to be a taunt.

I don’t think he ever did get tired that morning because he came in the house and continued his training with his mom, keeping his pointer finger extended the entire time.

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