Austin has learned to bicycle. Not ride a bicyle, but DO a bicycle. Like these guys -
Well, not quite, but he's new to it. He came home from practice Sunday, all sweaty and eager to tell me. He insisted I watch, so out the front door I go, in my sweat pants and flannel shirt, looking like a sporty redneck. He juggles the ball a little and flicks it up, throws himself backwards, kicks the ball and collapses in a heap on the ground. With a thud. "I just have to work on my aim now!" he says.
I try not to be overprotective. I try to be reasonable. But this is looking less like a swift soccer move and more like an excellent way to break bones. I remember when his older brother learned to drown. I mean, swim. I was like 400 months pregnant with his sister and we went to the pool. Steven ran to the pool, screaming, "Watch what I can do, Mom!" as I, the leviathan, waddled slowly forth. He jumped in to the deep end and thrashed. It was like a shark attack, only without the shark. Eventually he made it to the edge of the pool, and looked up brightly. "See? I can swim!"
But, back to Austin. This is a child with an extreme sensitivity to pain. He screams when I trim his toenails. When he had his first shots, at the tender age of 6 weeks, he inhaled for a good 60 seconds before he started wailing. And once he started, he didn't stop until we were 10 miles down the interstate. He shows me every tiny bruise as if it were potentially life-threatening, details each ache and every drop of blood lost. Every tiny drop. And here he is, in front of God and the neighborhood, launching himself backwards after a soccer ball.
Kids. I just raise 'em. I don't explain 'em.