Friday, March 23, 2007

Laughter and a Day at the Park

Hesperos' middle name means "laughter" and that was never more evident than this past week when he took his first ride in a real park swing. If we hadn't known better, we would've thought that this was his first trip in any swing period because he was so happy. But, I suppose those little Graco swings aren't secured by a 6-foot length of metal chain, allowing the little innocents to go at mach speeds. It was probably the exhileration of the chilly spring air compounded with the adrenaline rush of not knowing whether he was going to see his first birthday that made him so giggly.

Helios, on the other hand, wasn't so much giggly as smug, paling around with his six-year-old cousin, Rose. Other than "Mama" and "Dada", Rose's name was the first Helios learned to say. We're not entirely sure if he thinks of her as a big sister or if he's entranced with her long blonde hair and willingness to play with trains. In fact, if they weren't cousins, Rose could be the perfect girl for Helios -- from his perspective, that is. She feigns interest in Helios' passions (trains); she plies him with his favorite foods (animal crackers, popcorn, bananas); she protects his ego (lets him win at foot races); and she makes him feel like a big boy (lets him go on the slide first). In fact, if you just substituted these activities with adult male interests (football, hamburger and fries, video games, and going on the slide first), it becomes clear that childhood relationships are based on pretty much the same components for success as adult ones.

The day ended with a family picture. At the bottom are Helios with Hesperos (being held by Dada). Next up are Oscar, and then at the top are Jasmine and Rose. They don't all normally look like such dorks but apparently the presence of a gnat, particularly around two small girls, set the entire group of children into a frenzy. Most amusing was when Oscar saw the gnat land on his uncle's head. Oscar was just ready to slam his hand down, killing the gnat and smacking his uncle hard on the head, when disaster was narrowly averted by the gnat flying off. I heaved a sigh of relief. It just doesn't do to have innocent little gnats killed for no reason.

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