When I last left you, I had just returned from a 6 month WestPac cruise aboard the U.S. Aircraft Carrier, KittyHawk. The cruise had been memorable. But I was glad it was over, and that I was reunited with my family. Munchkin 3 was all boy, you know, those little whirling dervishes that never slow down, climb on anything and everything, and don’t know that flying through the air is great fun, but landing is painful, especially when you are only 2 years old and the table your jumping from is four feet off the ground. With that boy, I learned that I could fly, albeit only far enough to catch this air-born child from across the room.
Let me paint you a picture. I’d be in the same room as this fearless, blonde headed creature, working on whatever it was that seemed important at the time. Ten to fifteen feet away, I’d here those chilling words, “Daddy, catch me!” shouted with absolute glee and excitement. I’d turn to see munchkin 3 launch himself from a table top, or the back of a chair, as if he were Superman. That’s when the adrenaline would kick in and I would be in full after-burner mode. Like my son, I flew through the air, praying that I was faster than acceleration due to gravity. Fortunately, I was young and strong, and up to the task. I never missed him, though my landings weren’t always graceful or painless for me. But the important thing was accomplished, the boy was unharmed, and laughing with delight. It didn’t much matter if munchkin 3 was in the house, or pool-side, well before he had learned to swim. When I heard those words, “Daddy catch me!”, I knew I’d better be moving, and fast.
This young’en also loved to throw things. Everything that he was able to grasp flew through the air, propelled by a surprisingly strong throwing arm. I often commented that he was going to be a great baseball pitcher one day. In the meantime though, I and DW had to find a way to protect our other munchkins, our home, and whatever was throwable from this miniature titan.
Where munchkin 1 was an intellectual, and loved to converse with adults, and munchkin 2 was a perfectionist and the absolute alpha male, munchkin 3 was a non-stop action figure that knew no fear. And life was never dull.
People fell in absolute love with all of my munchkins. Number 1 had toys purchased for her by complete strangers as we walked through stores. She was so lovable and pretty. Number 2, from the time he was born almost, had girls and women (and I’m not kidding here) swooning over him due to his good looks and winning temperament. And munchkin 3 had a way of making people feel great about themselves, especially if they were pretty, blonde, female, and between 17 and 25. I watched him walk up to an attractive, blonde, young adult lady who was in charge of a summer recreation program. He was about 4 years of age at the time. He walked right up to her and tugged on her pant leg. He looked up with his his innocent little face, and his big blue eyes full of sincerity, and asked her in all seriousness, when I get bigger, will you marry me?
Now you have to understand that munchkin 3 wasn’t as pretty as his older brother. But he was adorably cute in a way that spoke of mud puddles, and jam covered cheeks, and running down sand dunes as fast as he could, until his feet couldn’t keep up, and he’d roll down the remaining slope giggling and laughing at the shear fun of rolling down a hill.
The young woman lifted him up until his face was level with hers and told him that if it were indeed possible, she would snap him right up, but that she would be way too old for him when he was old enough to do such things. Yes, in that recreation program, munchkin 3 got special attention. He had melted the young woman’s heart.
So that was my family, three munchkins who were so adorable that it was an honor to be their dad. And then came munchkin 4. And she was just as beautiful as the rest. By now you are probably saying to yourself that no one could have four children as amazing as I have stated that mine were. But I am really trying to be objective here, and give you only the facts. I really don’t need to embellish. If you could have seen them, you would be a believer. And those that did know them, they agree.
As with the others, I played and frolicked with munchkin 4. But I had learned a thing or two from the others so that she wasn’t dropped on her face, and never had the car door slammed on a thumb, or any of those crazy mishaps that parents unintentionally do to their precious children. And like with the others, we never spoke “baby talk” to her, but spoke to her in complete sentences, with correct words. She too was an early talker/walker. And where the others liked to talk, and make their presence known, munchkin 4 put them to shame. The girl never was quiet, and still isn’t. She’s known around these parts as “The noisy one”. And can she ever sing. She has a beautiful voice, and has worked very hard to learn how to use it.
Where munchkin 2 always had to be the best, and munchkin 3 was fearless, munchkin 4 was determined. When she was teaching herself to sing, practicing voice lessons taught to her by Jazz Choir, and trying to mimic her favorite singers, her brothers would complain that she was never quiet, and would often tell her to shut up. She just ignored them and continued practicing, maybe in a different location though. She was afraid of heights, and so at a two week camp. Learned to rappel down a steep and long rock wall. She was up for any adventure, and even was instrumental in getting her high school to allow girls on the wrestling team. Her and her best friend were the first girls to compete on a co-ed wrestling team in our town. They were also a big part of why we have a girls soccer team at our high school.
If I have learned anything important in this life, it is that the time and effort you put into your marriage, and your children is given back to you a hundredfold, and that nothing is as life fulfilling as watching your children turn into wonderful adults, with high standards in everything they do. Also, know that children are sponges. They are driven to seek out new ideas, learn new information, and try new adventures. It is our job as parents to help them explore everything that they can explore, and set limits to keep them safe, and help them understand why and how it is better to treat others with respect and love, and to maintain integrity and respect for oneself.
In my next post, I will continue with more adventures obtained as I lived with my amazing munchkins. So until then, love your family and give them everything you have, your love, your time, and your wisdom.
There is no success outside the home that justifies failure within the home.