Monday, April 11, 2011


My firstborn child is a walking accident-waiting-to-happen. Not a day goes by where he doesn't trip over his own two feet, hurling headlong toward the floor. He was late learning to clap, he never really got into songs with actions (well, he loved singing them, but generally just waved his hands around), and he can't throw a ball to save his life. I never took much notice of these "shortcomings" until Lucian started getting mobile, and I realized that some kids actually do have that elusive thing called dexterity. Louie is amazing with his hand-eye coordination. Just yesterday, he decided that the best way to eat yogurt and cheerios was to wait until I put the spoon near his mouth, pick up a cheerio from the tray, place it carefully onto the yogurt-covered spoon, and only then open up for the bite.

I feel completely responsible for Max's lack of coordination. Even though I was a dancer through high school, outside of the studio I never learned to put one foot in front of the other while simultaneously avoiding the obstacles in my path. I have walked directly into a no-parking sign, I have tripped and fallen backward over a low retaining wall, I have tripped and slid down the stairs... I know everyone does stuff like that, but I can almost set my clock by it! "Hmmm, haven't made a fool of myself in public this week, it's about time to run over my foot with a shopping cart."

Pregnancy is even worse, Paul can vouch for that. Generally, it's my elbows that take the brunt of the beating. Every door frame seems to jump out and hit me. And to top it all off, I am emotionally teetering on the brink of disaster at any given moment, so each bump causes much greater wounds to my ego than to my body. The worst moment (or best, depending on your perspective) was midway through my pregnancy with Max. I tripped over a cardboard box coming into our bedroom and got so upset and frustrated about this klutzy move and all those that had come before that I threw myself onto the bed sobbing. Luckily, I was facedown, so I didn't see Paul's intense struggle to keep from bursting out in gut-busting laughter. He managed to keep a straight face when I turned around and did not comment on the absurdity of my reaction until I had done so first. What a great husband.

As a friend pointed out to me recently, I don't really need to worry about Max's lack of coordination; his gifts lie elsewhere. For example, when his little brother is a full head taller than him and the captain of the football team, Max can pick up his guitar and write angst-ridden songs all about it!

I joke, really I do. But in all seriousness I'm not at all worried about Max. Even if he can't dribble a basketball or pass a football, the kid is going to be just fine. He has a mind like a steel trap... a steel trap that's lost in la-la land half the time, but a steel trap nonetheless. And I have a feeling he will be successful at whatever he puts his mind to. Maybe he won't have a God-given athletic talent (or maybe he will, who knows?) but if he wants to do something, he'll figure out a way to do it. That's my Maximilian.


Jessica said...

I didn't know you were a dancer!! I had a ballet teacher say once, "Of course dancers trip and run into things, we are used to moving in a room with no obstacles!"

Taryn said...

I think I just found my new favorite quote. Thanks Jess!