This is my 4-year-old son, Caleb. The table he is sitting on here is one I had already told him twice to get off of today, which doesn’t take into account the 100 or so times I’ve told him on other Sundays not to sit on it. With that in mind, you might wonder why I would agree to take a picture of him sitting on it today.
Two reasons: One, he asked me politely if I would, and, two, this seeming act of disobedience is not as rebellious as it might seem.
From the moment he was born, Caleb has been our most easy-going child. As a baby, this was great. He was always good-humored, not much of a screamer, an “easy baby.” Today, though, he may actually be too easy-going. Observe the moments when I hand him a pair of pajamas to put on, only to return to his room 10 minutes later to find him aimlessly wandering around in his underwear, said pajamas lying in a heap on his bed. Or when I arrive home one day and hand him something to take inside the house, only to see him turn and begin to walk back down the driveway with it. Or when we go through the buffet line at the local Chinese restaurant and I have to ask him at least three different times at every food item if he wants it on his plate.
He handles these moments with ease and nonchalance. I, on the other hand, feel my blood pressure rising with each second that passes.
See, Caleb (for now at least) is everything I am not when it comes to letting things roll off his back. Since he is 4 years old, he obviously still has his moments of impatience and immature reactions, but when he really doesn’t care, he really doesn’t care. I’m 40 now, so I don’t remember hardly anything about being 4 years old, but I can’t recall ever being like that. I am definitely not like that now. There are so many days when I want him to care just a little bit more … and then there are days when I hope he never changes at all.
As frustrating as he can be sometimes, I wish I was a little more like Caleb. In fact, most days I wish I was a lot more like Caleb. The fine line I’m walking right now is this: How do I get him to pay more attention and not be so spacy while at the same time ensuring he doesn’t lose his good nature? I want him to be responsible, but I also want him to be able to let things go easier than I do. I want him to think a little more deeply, but I don’t want him over-analyzing the crap out of everything like I do. I want to help him grow up, but I also want him to remain that “easy baby” somewhere down inside.
I could learn a thing or two from my son. I actually hope I do fairly quickly, because if I don’t adopt some of his personality soon I’m not sure he’s going to make it to his fifth birthday. Of course, I’m only joking, but I’m not so sure he’d even be rattled by a statement like that. I hope that never changes. I love my “easy baby.”