Many, many milestones we all try to reach in our lives, personally and professionally. From birth there is a road map through life lain out before us; first words, first steps, first day of school, graduation, first job, marriage and on and on. Most milestones are seen, then passed and on to the next one with little trouble. But there are some that we miss and those that we fall short on we hope our children might one day reach. Maybe it is the failed dream of playing for the Chicago Bears, or being handed an MBA, those unfulfilled dreams in our own lives become born on the shoulders of our children.
The pressure to succeed in life that we place on our own families is not the only influence this world provides. Competition with peers can be fierce and keeping up with Billy and Susie drives the spirit, willingly or not. In the classroom or on the field of play, competition between children and parents pushes and pushes and pushes. A scolding from another parent at a T-ball game about not getting Billy signed up sooner so his skills can develop and how he is already a year behind the other boys can bring a mother to the brink of tears. It is all around us and we are all participants.
Knowing this I have been watching my own new born son and his progress on the milestones of his short life. I was pleased when he was able to nurse on his own for the first time, watching him struggle to find the nipple and then relaxing with a smile once he did. A feeling of pride washed over me knowing that my son has passed the first of life's tests. He hurdled over bath time with ease and shed not a single tear. Staying over night with Grandma was little challenge for my boy and he was a perfect guest, gracious to the end. Early for sure, but in his first 6 weeks he has shown a desire for excellence and success, while forging a path of achievement to a life of greatness.
There is no fear that I am placing too much on the back of my infant son. I know he can handle the pressures of expectations for there is already an arena in which he excels to the level of a Grand Master. Behind a bald head, toothless mouth and round eyes there is the heart of a champion. A spark in his soul, a fire in his belly that will be with him forever and will drive him to heights men have not dreamed.
At 6 weeks old the clamor and vapor that emanate from the boys hindquarters have surpassed my own in pitch, duration and strength. A never ending stream of disquietude resonates from underneath his Huggies. The ease with which he pushes is staggering. Watching him lying there, smiling and staring at the birdies on his mobile while clearing a room one cannot help but be impressed.
It's not hard to see the branch on the tree that this gift came from, family traits rarely are. There is a Depression Era segment of the family that gave up supressing any bedlam from her base years ago, but with age comes privelage, and she knows it. A visit was paid a week after the boy was born and she crop-dusted me in my own house while I lay on the couch.
An accident? Maybe.
I think it was a warning.
She knows the competition has arrived. He is hungry, and she is nervous.
In the near future there will be a show down between these two forces of nature and it won't be pretty. May the best blaster win.