The other day Gideon was flopped down longways on the couch in the family room when I told him it was time to go get ready for bed.
He groaned into a pillow. “Can you carry me instead?”
“No,” I said and then sighed realizing the finite number of times that I will have to carry him in the future. He is getting larger every second. So, I knelt down next to the couch and told him, “Okay. I’ll carry you, but you have to ride on my back this time.”
“Like a piggy?” he asked, suddenly finding energy he didn’t have to walk up the stairs and using it to jump on the couch.
“Yes… in the manner of a piggy.”
He wrapped his arms around my neck, and I grabbed his legs around my waist. Then with a deep breath, I stood up.
Immediately he started screaming in my ear. I stumbled sideways to get away from him, but he of course just came with me as I spun and shook at him.
“Gideon! Gideon Stop!”
He finally stopped shrieking and panted.
“Gid, what’s wrong? You can’t yell like that in my ear.”
“Sorry,” he said, “But me thought I was would hit the ceiling!”
I craned my neck to try to see if he was joking or not. “That doesn’t even make any sense little man. When you are on my back you are only as tall as I am. And Daddy doesn’t ever hit the ceiling, does he?”
He hesitated. “No… But me so close to the ceiling…”
I slowly walked up the stairs towards his bedroom. A little girl dashed by in the hallway in front of us.
“Lydia!” the boy yelled. “Lydia look! Me gonna hit the ceiling!”
We walked into the room and he gasped, “Ooooh, there’s stuff on TOP of the dresser.”
“Yes,” I nodded. He was beginning to choke me in his excitement.
“There,” he repeated and tried to point, then slipped and had to slap his hand back onto my Adam’s apple. “See it?”
“Yes yes yes.” I coughed. “I am very aware that there is stuff on top of our dresser.”
“Me not see that before.”
I flopped him down on the bed, and he just sprawled out there motionless staring up at the ceiling, as if there were stars there. As if he had just returned from the surface of the moon and nothing would ever be the same. He would chase this feeling for the rest of his life. Maybe someday, a long time from now, he would have to duck through a doorway and be able to see on the top of dressers without the help of his father.
“You are growing up too fast little man.”
He said nothing.
“But you have a looooooong way to go still.”