Dude! - FamilyEducation


April 21,2008
As K-Man and I were hanging out today (at a firehouse, of course), I was somewhat taken aback by how he’s really, truly turning into a little boy. I know the transition from newborn to baby to toddler happened in a blink. Somehow, though, he has morphed into a kid. Seems I say that every month now. And, maybe that’s just how it’s gonna go from here on out. I wasn’t ever all that impressed with the “miracle of life” in those early days, but I’m now slammed by it each and every month.

K-Man’s trip to the firehouse today was a showcase in just how far he’s come. Though he was obsessed with fire trucks a year ago, he wouldn’t get into one. Now, he not only gets into them, but he knows what all the different features are. He’ll walk around a truck and point out the hoses, axes, nozzles, cones, radios and more. He may know more about fire trucks than most firefighters.

I think that’s the one thing that just blows me away – how much he actually knows and what he’s able to quickly pick up on. As we were driving to the fire station, some random song was playing on the radio. I wasn’t even really listening to it. But, I was snapped out of my daydream (Note to self: Daydreaming while driving – not so good) by K-Man. He was singing along to the chorus. “K-Man, you like this song?” “Yes, Daddy, the guitar.” Because he could pick up the guitar riff in the tune, he decided it was a song he liked.

Yesterday, while watching a hockey game (his first), K-Man pointed to the TV and said, “They’re skating.” He knows this because he watched ice skaters in San Francisco during the holidays. It was a quick, one-off experience. It affected him enough to remember it. However, because K-Man uses big branches as imaginary  leaf blowers, he was a little confused as to why the hockey players were playing with their own leaf blowers. That’s just effing cute!

It’s amazing to watch learning so closely. Teachers obviously get to see this every day, and play a huge role in that learning. But, I’m not a “teacher” per se. (Yes, I know, parents are the most important teachers, etc.) What I mean is that, as K-Man’s dad, I know that I’m showing him things and introducing him to various other things. It’s just that he takes those experiences and weaves them into his life. He learns them. And, that’s what blows my doors off.

It’s what makes me laugh when someone cuts me off while driving – leading me to say something to the effect of, “Whoaaaaa!” K-Man always follows up with, “Dude!” That’s just from paying attention. Watching. Listening. And learning. It’s funny, but it’s also amazing to me. Yes, he’s growing out of his clothes. Yes, he’s bigger each and every day. Yes, he’s quite a talker and his vocabulary is growing.

But, what really shows off the kid’s development and growth is his ability to pull “Dude!’ at the appropriate time. A bit over two-and-a-half and properly using “dude.” It just warms a dad’s heart.