Fifteen years ago today a very complicated boy was born. When you have a child who is
difficult spirited, and you read everything there is to know about difficult spirited children, you will hear again and again that their births are very different from that of the other children in the family. I think you'll all most of you will understand what I'm talking about when I say, "from 2 centimeters to delivery in 1 hour." 'Nuff said?
Danger Boy was rolling over by 5 weeks, crawling at 4 months, getting himself to a sitting position at 5 months, walking the day he turned 8 months, and running at 8 months 1 day. He had his first stitches at 8 + 1/2 months.
DB loved water from his very first bath. Remember the swimming baby in the movie Endless Love?
DB started jumping off the high dive at our swim club when he was 2. It seemed like a good idea at the time; now I wonder what the hell I was thinking letting him do that. Maybe I just liked to see the panic in the eyes of the other moms when he started up the ladder (I do have a teeny-weeny sadistic streak). The lifeguards all knew and loved DB; he was sort of their mascot.
DB has always loved animals, and they have always loved him. My mom had a Brittany Spaniel named Amy. She and DB spent so much time tongue-kissing that DB thought his real name was Amy! Luke! Stop!
Since Tourette Syndrome, and neurological difficulties in filtering noise, have really shaped who DB is, I have to talk a little bit about it. DB is (in my humble opinion) seriously handsome. He is also a gifted athlete, and smart. Remember those boys in high school that just knew they were all that and a bag of potato chips too? When DB was little I worried that might be him--everything came so easily to him. Then, two weeks before kindergarten started, came explosive-onset Tourette Syndrome (probably PANDAS). We didn't know it was TS for almost 5 years, because stuttering was his vocal tic, and the speech therapist thought his tics were secondary symptoms related to that (long story, different post).
In addition to the difficulties that TS brings, I think it also brought some positives. DB is very empathetic and kind. He is learning, and has learned, that he must know himself, and be able to recognize when he needs to give himself a break. I'm very proud of the fact that even though TS can make it very difficult to control your temper, he has never gotten in any trouble at school. He may fall apart the minute he walks in the door, but that's what home is for sometimes.
One of Danger Boy's hidden talents is his writing. Well, his families and his teachers know, but it's not really a "guy" thing to go on about. When he was in fourth-grade he wrote a story that included this line, in a sci-fi story, "Acids plume from newborn mouths." I have yet to write a line that good. DB actually had a blog before I did. You know how you don't want to tell your kids what to be when they grow up, but you really, really hope they'll be X? Yeah, it's like that.
DB played a lot of sports in his day, and one thing everyone that has ever seen him play anything has said is that "he is a true competitor." Well, when he was slide-tackling in soccer when he was 5 years old some of the other moms said things like "WTF?" And when he knocked down the 2nd baseman in coach pitch and said, "What? I was breaking up the double-play?" there may have been some moms who thought he might be a bit too competitive. But the coaches all loved him!
His sport today is water polo, and it truly is his sport (okay, his and his older brother's). You don't play water polo if you don't want to mix it up a little, so DB and WP are a perfect fit. He's played on two Junior Olympic teams, and was captain of the novice team for his high school this year. He also played J.V., in all the Varsity tournaments, and on the C.I. F. team. He may not have the biggest body in the pool, but he's got the biggest heart.
DB had a rough beginning to his freshman year of high school. In true DB style, he worked out the kinks and is using his considerable skills of self-discipline to make sure his counselor looks at his second semester report card and does a double-take while rubbing his eyes in disbelief.
Happy Birthday, Danger Boy!
You always keep us on our toes. We're so proud of your thoughtfulness, your perseverance, and your wacky and wonderful mind.
P.S. You've heard the sayings about a boy and his dogs? This is the boy and these are his dogs.