If you know my 4-year-old son, Andy, you know that he's... how should I put this? He's... active. I've had more than one person ask me (mostly serious, too), "does he walk anywhere?" The answer, if you're curious, is NO. Time to eat? He's running to the table. Time for church? He's running out the door, across the sidewalk, into the church. Time for bath? He's running - no, streaking - from the dirty clothes basket, through the house, to the tub. One of his favorite games is racing people. I will be the announcer, and once the race begins, I'll say, "And he's off!" followed by (pardon the pun) a running commentary on how the race is going. He even races his big sister when she's on her bike. Becca wins, but he goes down trying.
Like I said, my son is active.
Because of his activity level, Andy has been given a few much-deserved nicknames. My favorites:
Dash, after the hyper-fast son in the Incredibles.
Speedy Gonzales, after "the fastest mouse in all Mech-i-co!"
His personal favorite:
For as long as I can remember, it's been like this - whatever Andy does, he does it fast.
Today I realized that this also applies to him growing up.
This morning, Cathy and I took Andy to his first day at preschool. He was so excited! We hadn't been there more than 10 minutes when he told me, "Dad, I love preschool." At the end of this brief, orientation-type first day, the preschool director said, "you can stick around and play for another seven minutes," before the next orientation class began. When Andy caught my eyes, he said, "What about eight more minutes?" On the way home, he said he can't wait until his next day of preschool because he will be able to spend more time there and he can be by himself.
And just like that, our 4-year-old is ready for his next phase of life.
No more being at home all day, every day. Now "Miss Ruth" and "Miss Sue" are taking care of Andy three mornings each week. No more unscheduled, wide open play time. Now he has a commitment and structure. Good things, but he grew up so quickly!
And he's off!
Yes, Andy's off.