Sunday, March 27, 2011

11 Years ago Today, I Gave Birth to a Mad Genius/Athlete ( who can actually do math)

On this day in history -- eleven fine years ago -- I gave birth (per usual, after a few days of labor) to an impolitely large baby with fantastic eyebrows -- a mad genius inventor, in point of fact, with mad athleticism.

To get a feel for Theo, let me just mention a few things he's built -- wielding saws, hot-glue guns, high tech gear -- in the past month.

1. Authentic-looking Sticks of dynamite.
(Alarming at the breakfast table.)

2. A Long Arm Snorri Cam made from a halved skate board, bungy cord, foam, carpet remnant, straps, buckles, wood, screws... (serious construction)

3. Chest Stablilizing Snorri Cam made from PVC pipe (This way they can film their upbringing, documentary-style without even using their hands. And I once feared raising a memoirist?)

4. A Documentary -- fully edited -- of the Hippie Photo Shoot
(in which I'm screechy) with full special effects -- dream filters, flashbacks, slow motion...

5. I recently went to turn out the lights and found an elaborate Rube Goldberg (complete with balloons, pins, dominoes, string, ramps ...) holding the piano hostage.

6. An Iron Man hand (I don't want to know what powers it might possess that could render me powerless)

7. An alien egg -- not yet finished -- alien not (yet?) included

8. A knife that he rigged to make look like it's stuck in a forehead
(File Under: How to disturb your mother and make her kind of flinchy for life.)

9. A pair of foam bunny ears for his little brother
(He's sweet! What can I say?)

10. Many, many, many things that it's better I just not know about.

Theo was excellent at soccer, in utero. At four, he was draw-dropping on the field, chest-trap and go to goal. And now? Kinda mind-blowing. Our front yard is home to a full-size goal bounce-back, has homemade mini goals scattered everywhere (what CAN'T we do with PVC pipe?), and usually a dozen soccer balls like bloated Easter eggs dotting the lawn. (The neighbors so dig us!) And he's out there, putting in hours. (You gotta love something so much it drills the hours into you, not the other way around.)

Theo's also an activist. This spring, Dave was carpooling a bunch of soccer plays -- all boys -- and when one of them made fun of some kid from his school for being gay, Theo jumped in, "What's wrong with being gay? Do you have a problem with gay people?" He shut the kid down. Not easy to do in a car full of soccer buddies, in the homophobic culture that surrounds sports.

Theo doesn't wait for the world to meet him. He's one intense kid -- curious, determined, wacky, nurturing -- which we should all feel really good about, as he may one day rule the world.