(1) The screen door. On the day we left for the hospital, Amy was feeling it. Big time contractions, 4 minutes apart. Time to head to North Memorial! I was in charge of the “stuff.” Amy’s clothes bag. Check. My clothes bag. Check. Diaper bag. Check. Baby clothes bag. Check. Amy’s “labor bag” with kooshy socks and washcloths and a robe and momly stuff. Check. CD player for the delivery room. Check. Video Camera. Check. 35mm camera. Check. Digital Camera. Check. Kitchen sink. Check…
“Josh! Joshua! We HAVE to GO!” Amy was in no mood to wait around as I gathered up the bags, bits and pieces, slung them over my shoulder (all at the same time) and headed through the door.
And when I say “through the door,” that’s exactly what I mean. We’d been in our new house for two weeks. In perfect Bill Cosby-esque “husband-of-the-mom-in-labor” style, I charged right into the closed screen door with all our stuff, and it blew off the frame, flew several yards through the air and landed in a cracked, crumpled heap.
That’s how excited I was to welcome my wee lad into the world.
(2) Joy-Boy. When Isaac was a baby, all you had to do was LOOK at him and he’d burst out laughing. Isaac came into our world in a time when we were going through tremendous stress. Both my job and Amy’s were uncertain, finances were scary, and we had just gone through losing our rental housing and buying our first home. We were physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. And then came our sunshine. Isaac, you earned that nick-name a thousand times over. Turned our world around. “Joy-Boy” still fits.
(3) “All done sleepin’!” Right! When Isaac was old enough to talk, too old for a crib, but not old enough to turn the doorknob in his bedroom, we’d put him to bed at night, tuck him in, say prayers, and close the door. Wait 12 minutes, and then… “ALL DONE SLEEPIN’!” He thought his night of rest was over. Time to play! We’d see his little fingers peeking out under the door of his bedroom. Wiggle wiggle. “Aaaaaaall done SLEEPIN’!”
Cutest thing ever, but we didn’t open the door. No sir. Tough love. Got to the point we had to put a blanket on the hardwood floor inside the door because he would fall asleep there for the night. Guess he wasn’t all done sleepin’ after all. Good times, until…
(4) Wal-Mart. One day he figured out how to turn the doorknob. Bad times. Now he could escape. Bad, bad times. Cute or not, you don’t mess with Dad’s sleepy time. No sir. I remember my frantic, but purpose-driven 1AM trip to Wal-Mart vividly. Pretty sure I broke some laws getting there. I bought three things: A baby gate. Rope. Earplugs.
Got home… Clean diaper? Check. Drink of water? Check. No monsters under the bed? Check. Blanket on floor? Check.
Closed the door, put up baby gate, tied the door to the gate, put in earplugs, and commenced sleeping. Ahhhh…
(5) Faces. Since he was very little, Isaac James has displayed an aptitude for expression that he must have inherited from his momma. Behold:
(6) Hot Stuff. Girls like Isaac. Much to his chagrin. His teachers have all noticed this phenomenon. Isaac hasn’t. Flocks of female admirers. It’s that killer combination of charm, wit, and crazy good looks… He must have inherited that from his dad.
Once, while his grandpa was giving a presentation to Isaac’s class about his travels to India, a cutie patootie in Isaac’s class held up a little note for only Grandpa Bob to see. “I *heart* Isaac.” We saved it – you know, just in case they get married some day. Isaac, we’ll never tell who…
(7) Dance Dance 2000. Isaac has always been one to get his groove on. One of our favorite parts of family movie night has been the inevitable dance fest that occurs during the closing credits. Isaac is the master of all things funky. Case in point…
(8) Ronald Arstenschvagen. Good times. If you missed it before, go here to read the story…
(9) Certified Genuine. I thank God everyday for our boys. They are amazing kids. All of them unique. And one of the things we value most is that they are REAL. Isaac looks us in the eye. Unselfconsciously giving and receiving affection. Quick to obey. Quick to express gratitude. Quick to laugh. Quick to help out. Isaac is just plain wonderful. And I don’t take it for granted for a day.
God, thank you for this great boy. How do I rate getting to be HIS dad?
Isaac, I love you buddy. Congrats on making it nine years so far. I’ve got you for another nine or so before you head off to school somewhere, fall in love (ew!) and break out on your own. But I’m so glad you’re my boy – and THAT will NEVER change.
“isaac james :: the greatest nine-year-old of all time” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.