Sunday, February 10, 2013

Coley Bear

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.
-William Butler Yeats

I have always loved time-lapse nature videos. Seeing a flower open or a full day’s worth of clouds sped up into a few seconds is pretty miraculous. I caught glimpses of that wonder without the aid of any video technology this week. When I picked my 13-year old son up from a friend’s house after a few hours of being away, he looked visibly taller and subtly older. The boy I have affectionately called Coley Bear since birth, now prefers to be addressed simply as Cole. When I said something to Cole about his sudden transformation, he laughed and said his friend’s mom said the exact same thing at dinner.

I didn’t have time to put Cole up against the doorframe to measure him, but a trip to the shoe store confirmed my suspicion. He went from a size 11 to a size 12. Than this weekend we travelled to a drama competition where he got to stay in his own hotel room with a classmate and roam the halls probably into the wee hours with chaperones none the wiser. Cole performed the same Alice in Wonderland tea party scene at districts last month. But it felt like more like watching the rabbit hole scene where magic potion made Alice stretch beyond proportions. At state finals, his already alto voice projected as a rich baritone, turning the head of his drama coach and perhaps making the judges question whether we slipped a high schooler in to seed our chances of a win.

Wearing his blue ribbon superior medal around his neck on the long drive home, Cole took charge of the music. You can learn a lot about a person by what is on their iPod. His playlist made him seem wise beyond his years.

We jammed.

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo –Eminem

We listened to the words.

I’d get it one piece at a time and it couldn’t cost me a dime. You’ll know it’s me when I come through your town. –Johnny Cash

We turned it up.

Hey Jude, don’t be afraid. You were made to go out and get her.-Beatles

We shouted.

Now the world is gone, I’m just one. Oh God, help me. –Metallica

We questioned the meaning.

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now.- Led Zeppelin

While we were gone, time did not slow down for my daughter either. She hit the magic number of 42 inches, which made the world (of Seaworld) her oyster. She graduated from a first timer on Shamu Express to riding Journey to Atlantis three times in a row. She recorded a voicemail to us somewhere between Hey Jude and One Piece at a Time. It wasn’t enough to conquer roller coasters in a day, in her message she proudly recited the Pledge of Allegiance too. Even her normally non-plussed teenage brother paused and marveled at how quickly she is growing up.

Have you ever seen time pass by? If so, were you growing?

For today’s “Sky’s the Limit” on what you can learn: No toy may be a more recognizable symbol of childhood than the Teddy Bear. Did you know Teddy Bears are named after President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt? As the story goes, the president refused to shoot a captured bear on a hunting trip in Mississippi because he thought it was unsportsmanlike. The 1902 hunting incident was the subject of a Washington Post political cartoon that gave toy designer Morris Michtom an idea. Michtom created the little stuffed bear and put it in his store window with a sign that read “Teddy’s bear”. Eventually the apostrophe was dropped and the rest is history.

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