25 July 2012

First Elephant

When I turned 25-years-old, I was married, pregnant with my second child, and living in Monterey, California. On that very day, I went to try one of 99 keys to see if I would win a 1967 Ford Mustang (I had won a key a few weeks earlier).

I knew I had to win since the drawing was on my birthday AND because I was born in 1967. It was fate! It was destiny! It was written in the stars! When my turn came up, thankfully no other key holders had yet won. I got into the bright red car, turned the key, and nothing happened.

Other than that, it was a good day.

Today, my oldest child is turning 25. (Yes, I started young, you do the math). 25 on the 25th - magical!

He is in Flagstaff, Arizona, at a teacher training conference. He finished his Master's Degree this spring and landed a wonderful job at a private school in the Phoenix area. He's a smarty who will be teaching History and Latin to middle schoolers.

But it's important to paint the true picture of his nature. (Evil grin).

When this boy was three-years-old, he had a friend over and they watched a video of The Jungle Book. If you remember the part when the elephants march through the jungle, imagine two three-year-old boys lining up and marching around our living room. It was all fine and good and until the friend got in front of my son, to which my son exclaimed, "HEY! I want to be first elephant!" And then he knocked the kid out of the way.

No, it wasn't nice, but it was also hilarious. He has never been able to shake the title of "first elephant" among family members.

A couple of years later, when he was about five, a little boy in the neighborhood knocked on our door to see if my son could play. My son opened the door and said, "You know, I don't HAVE to play with you." Lo and behold, the kid stayed, anyway.

It gets worse. In kindergarten, he called a teacher fat, and in the lunchroom, he threw ketchup at the wall. He was a miniature terrorist. And honestly, I did not teach him to behave this way. (Though at the time I was sure everyone believed I sat home at night thinking up ways to encourage him to shock the entire town.)

I won't talk about the time he got in a fight with a very rude and nasty little boy across the street who happened to have two prosthetic legs from the knees down. At one point during the fight, one of the legs came off, and my son proceeded to pick it up and hit the kid with it. Yes, he is still proud to admit that he hit a kid with his own leg.

Oh wait, I just talked about it, didn't I?

Thankfully, he grew out of those naughty little boy years. Also thankfully, to date he has not hit anyone else with a prosthetic leg... that I know of. In fact, those behaviors were not the norm at all. He was a delightful little guy with a gift for gab. Now he's a delightful BIG guy with a gift for gab.

We still talk on the phone nearly every day and he's always got something to say or an opinion about something. Teaching is definitely the right profession for him, as he can share all his thoughts and opinions with the next generation. Wow, I just got scared after I wrote that.

I spoke with him a couple of hours ago during his lunch break at the teaching conference. He said one of the seminars today was on kids to try to derail teachers by asking leading questions, getting them off-topic, etc. He assured the entire group that he could handle that because HE was that kid, and that the last time he did that to a teacher was a few months ago - his last semester of grad school.

Yep. That's my boy.

Lastly, here is a recent photo of him doing grown up things at the Phoenix Comic-Con. Recognize the guy with him? Hint: 70's TV series about a big, green guy. Also noteworthy - my son is about 6 ft. tall, so this guy is HUGE.


Happy Birthday to my grown up, delightful son who has taught me way more than I taught him. You're a good egg. ;) Love, Mom

Copyright © 2012 - Paulla Estes

1 comment:

Dolores said...

I know it wasn't right but I had to laugh at the prosthetic incident. I hope your son had a wonderful birthday.