The countdown to Ian’s arrival has boiled down to hours - less than 24 to be exact. The doctor took one final look at both Katie and Ian this past Wednesday and he said mother and child look perfect. There is obviously no way of knowing how a child will choose to enter the world, but there are many positive signs that Ian may choose to do so with far less drama than Elliott. And since Elliott’s short life has been a non-stop audition for his first big break onto the big screen, a quieter entrance by Ian may be a welcome sign of things to come.
I know this; Ian’s entrance into the world is not a moment too soon. It will be a boost to this father’s ego to once again have someone in the house to whom I can offer education. Elliott and I were on a walk yesterday when Elliott started identifying birds. Not terribly impressive I suppose other than the fact he was identifying them by their sounds. We would hear a bird and he would say “Cardinal bird” to one, “Blue Jay bird” to another. According to Elliott we also heard Mockingbirds and Screech Owls. I don’t know if he was right or not and therein lays the problem – Elliott has moved into subject areas where it is more than quite possible his knowledge exceeds his dad’s. Welcome to our home baby Ian.
I guess I do need to be careful what I ask for. Elliott has taken to and taken off with some of the life lessons I have offered him. Notre Dame Football for example. Elliott has a new routine where he runs around the island counter that divides our kitchen and living room. That is as simple as the routine started several months ago, simple laps. Elliott was perfectly content to have mom or dad counting and he would keep running. Contentment requires a bit more these days. It requires Elliott to carry a football while he runs his circular obstacle course, which can some days be more challenging than others depending on the number of obstructions he has emptied from his toy box, the trash can or the kitchen cabinets. Then about halfway through his circle, he falls on the ground, which is a prompt for me to say “get up football player, get up”. All of this running is performed to background music provided by me do do do-ing the Notre Dame Fight song. If for some reason I pause, Elliott runs over to me and looks up at me and says “do do do” daddy until I start the music again. It can get old, but it does increase the odds of a good night’s sleep.
Elliott had his first Trick or Treat experience Friday night. He did a great job. He dressed as his favorite character, Thomas the Train, and chugged around the neighborhood for as long as the steam lasts in a toddler and a nine months pregnant mama. He struggled up the steps of the houses in our neighborhood and with prompting, quietly worked “trick or treat” out of the lips of an unusually shy looking face. He was hesitant in reaching for his fair share of the candy at each stop and since the bowls were full of Kit Kat bars and not cheeseburgers, I didn’t over-coach him on his aggressiveness or selections. We did cross paths with many costumes that were more of the trick than treat variety. When we came across a group of kids hidden inside bloody and weapon yielding costumes, I suddenly had Thomas the Train clinging to one of my legs. I can say for at least a few yards, I do have the strength to very slowly pull an entire train.
It does seem odd that tomorrow we will add a new character to these writings. I am sure Ian will make me more grateful than ever to be a father and provide for even more experiences to write about. I ask that you pray for Katie and Ian tomorrow, that God will watch over both of them and that he gives us all the strength we need to live out his plan. He has been so faithful in providing us all we need in being Elliott’s parents – I do trust he will continue to provide.