Friday, June 10, 2005

The Indestructible Man, Age 5

Yesterday, my five year old son fell from the upper berth of the bunk bed that he shares with his brother and landed on his arm. His mother cuddled him and applied an ice pack to the injured area, which had a few bruises and some broken skin. After he calmed down enough to communicate, we had him extend his arm and move it in as many ways as an arm is supposed to move. No broken bones! Less than an hour after his fall, he was playing -- on the floor, this time. And he happily informed us that he was no longer hurt. When we asked him what he was doing on the bunk bed, he told us that he was standing -- just what we tell him that he should never do. We then asked if he was playing a game up there. He said exactly what I knew he was going to say: He was playing light sabers. The little stunt man thinks he's a Jedi. His older brother understood railroad safety at age two, and has been very safety conscious ever since. This little one has trouble grasping the fact that much of what he sees in the movies has been tweaked to make the unreal appear real. Almost 90% of what he sees in a Star Wars movie is essentially a cartoon, but it looks convincingly real to him.

The fall happened right on schedule. Next week is his sixth birthday. Every year, usually just before his birthday, he has what I have come to call his Annual Brush With Death. Such as:

  • 2005 -- The fall from the top of the bunk bed. Landed on his arm, no broken bones, some bruises and scrapes. Laughed it off within an hour. Evidence of Wolverine-style mutant healing factor.
  • 2004 -- Left the dinner table early, went upstairs, opened his bedroom window and climbed out onto the roof. (He has never seen Pollyanna.) Neighbor freaked out after failing to draw our attention. The boy came back inside after being caught by his siblings and ended up having a conversation with a nice police officer.
  • 2003 -- While Daddy was in the shower, Mommy went to work early. Boy decided to follow her, but had no idea which way she went. Decided to go to the local bakery for a cookie, but got lost. Was found several blocks away by a stranger with a cell phone. Must have crossed at least one busy intersection on his own. Enjoyed his ride home in a police car.
  • 2002 -- Dashed across the street without looking as family was getting in the minivan to go to baby sister's baptism. Gave parents another reason to be thankful during prayer time.
  • 2001 -- Took a trip into town with Daddy and older brother. At the trolley depot, let go of Daddy's hand and charged towards the edge of the platform. Stopped about six inches short of certain destruction, less than a minute before a trolley showed up.
  • 2000 -- Stumbled into the bathroom, shut himself in, and pulled open a cabinet drawer just enough to block the door from being opened. Had a major crying fit while parents used a crowbar to push the drawer out of the cabinet. Fell asleep on the floor from exhaustion due to excessive crying.
This list does not even include the time that he grabbed an open can of Similac at the top and almost cut off his finger (one year old), nor does it include his fall from atop a dresser when he banged his forehead and needed stitches just above his eye (almost two years). No one else in my family has had experiences like his.

I gather from all of this that he is destined for greatness, that he has some kind of special mission on this Earth, and that is he not allowed to die until his destiny has been fulfilled. Never mind the story of Anakin Skywalker and the mysterious ancient prophecy. My little son is The Chosen One. It would be nice, though, if he would stop scaring the hell out of his parents on his journey to immortality.

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