It has been quite some time since my son first kicked his mother in her belly while in her womb.
At first, I was not sure if I was feeling a kick or just my wife breathing. After a while, the kicks became harder and I was sure of them. I remember my cousin, a recent father himself, telling me to wait until I see a foot poking through the stomach. I thought, maybe, I would see a little bump every now and again.
I see explosions in my wife’s abdomen. It looks like the baby is working for the Narcotics Unit and busting in doors. That little guy is channeling Bruce Lee when he gets hyper. He is not just hitting up one spot either. He is banging right below the ribs on the right side and right above the belly button simultaneously. He’ll give a couple of jabs up top then land a hook on her waistline. And sometimes, it looks like there is a baseball roaming around right below the surface of her skin. It is reminiscent of that Kevin Bacon movie, "Tremors."
I just cannot imagine what is going on in there. Whatever it is, it is giving my boy a good workout. I am expecting this kid to come out looking like Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky" or "Rocky IV." Maybe "Rocky V" if things slow down in there, but ripped nonetheless. It will then be my goal to keep him that way.
Now, I realistically do not want my infant son to be bulging muscles; I want him to lead a life of good health and proper eating habits. Everyone is aware of the childhood obesity problem and the reports that say things like, “for the first time ever, the current generation of young children may have shorter life spans than their parents,” and that is upsetting. No parent ever wants to outlive their child.
I believe that there are simple things that we can do as parents to keep our children from dying within years of us. We do not need to train them like soldiers or boxers that overcome incredible odds to take Apollo Creed to a split decision. We do not need to put our children on crazy diets created by a doctor living in another world.
We just need to keep our kids active. Make them play outside when they old enough to do so. Allow them to climb trees and ride bikes. Let them, boys or girls, play baseball and football with their friends. Make jumping jacks fun.
I remember when my father hung a pull-up bar in our basement. He would lift each of my four siblings and myself to the bar and allow us to do as many as we could. It was fun because we were competing against each but we would also cheer each other on. The best part was when my father would lift us up to the bar. He would give a couple of words of advice then bring us up as fast as he could.
It was a blast. Sometimes, someone’s pants would drop down and we could enjoy a laugh.
I know everyone does not have the time or patience to be a Little League coach or to set up workout regiments for their offspring, but that isn’t necessary. A lot of times, I think it is a terrible idea for the kids when their parents coach. You have seen these “adults” fighting and carrying on over pee-wee football games or forcing their children to play sports which they do not care for in the least. That is too much. Just let the kids have fun while sweating a little and let them be competitive when they are ready.
As for my son, I think he is already ready for the competition. He can mimic my footsteps when I go upstairs alongside my wife. It will not be long until he and I are racing to the top. I am starting to train now for our race up the steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Judging by tonight’s kicks, it does not look good for me.
Pardon the Rocky references.