Raphael has finished the wrestling season. I persist in being unsure about the whole deal. He loves it, loves loves loves. The other day we were driving around somewhere, and we were listening to the Sesame Street CD that is the current soundtrack of our lives (the minute Sophia sees her car seat, she starts chirping "ELMO'S SONG? ELMO'S SONG?"), and a song came on out about having a face, and all its parts - you know, Sesame Street face song. One of the lines is something like "I have a chin, but what a chin does, I cannot tell."
From the back seat, Raphael said thoughtfully, "I know what a chin does. It hurts people." I was not driving, so I turned around to give him excuse me? eyes. "You know, in wrestling. You dig your chin - like this -" he pointed his chin aggressively at me, "- right into your opponent's back, and it hurts."
"No, honey," I said, "that's illegal."
"Actually," Clay said, "it's not. That's perfectly acceptable by wrestling rules."
"I didn't SAY ANYTHING about wrestling rules. I said THAT'S ILLEGAL. In MY WORLD."
They dropped it, but I saw them exchange a surreptitious look. They don't think I understand.
But I do, I understand. They are complicit in this quest to be stronger and tougher and dominant in a way that I simply would never encourage anyone to be. Especially not my own baby boy.
But then again, this fierce little warrior child is not the only side of him there is. Another of Raphael's passions these days is origami. He spends hours fiddling with paper and presenting me with creations. The house is littered with them, but what are you supposed to do? Throw them away? There are boxes:
and pteranodons and all other manner of dinosaurs (which are suprisingly difficult to photograph), and also, an absolute flurry of hearts and butterflies.
Those are for me, of course, and if you look close at the pink one, you can see a message.
It's moments like that that ease my heart. He may be tough, but he's not too tough.