Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Ringbearer Prepares

A Ringbearer Prepares
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
Yes, there he is: Collin, in his "Dancing Suit," which he will wear for Unca Paul and Unca (Auntie) Nette's wedding this July. I was worried when the suit arrived in the mail that he would hate it, because it is so stiff and heavy and not at all what he's used to wearing. But Ryan took him back to his room (some sort of "first suit" ritual between father and son, I presume) and a few minutes later a very small, blond person emerged, beaming from ear to ear and reminding me of Robert Duvall as Consigliere in The Godfather movies.

Boy, is he excited.

Of course, this picture (and the next one that I hope to post of Collin) offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on the gender role messages he's getting now that he's going to school. He doesn't want to wear a flower in his button-hole at the wedding because "boys don't wear flowers" and he no longer wants to do ballet (even though he LOVES the moves of balletic dancing) because "boys can only do rock and roll dancing."

We've pulled out some books with pictures of Nureyev and Nijinsky in them, and discussed how much Daddy likes flowers, but he's not buying it. Of course, perhaps I share some blame in all this too. I've been SO resistant to letting them get attached to name brands (No SpongeBob in my house!!) and gender stereotypes, but as anyone who knows me well knows, I am obsessed with Batman (the dark, brooding Batman of Frank Miller strips and *Arkham Asylum*, not Adam West battling Cesar Romero.) So when Collin started asking about Batman and what his powers were (I also love that Batman has no superpowers, just works out and uses his wits and gadgets), who the villians were, etc., I responded VERY positively.

Needless to say, the boy now owns a Batman hat, 2 identical Batman shirts, Batman flip-flops, a Batman backpack . . . and it's all, every bit of it, my fault.

Sigh. At least in this suit he's more Bruce Wayne than anything else.

Little Ol' Lilah

Little Ol' Lilah
Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
This is currently one of my favorite photos of Lilah, because it reveals a new element of our little girl. She has recently discovered a new way to claim adult attention (besides bossing people around, talking in an almost inaudibly high-pitched "baby animal" voice, screaming at the top of her lungs . . . ). This new thing is that she can be funny. She was sitting at breakfast with us and suddenly got down from her seat, picked up this paper towel roll, and declared: "I'm little old Lilah," and began to hobble away. When we both cracked up, she looked not oly delighted, but amazed, and so of course happily repeated her performance for the camera.

Other new developments with Lilah, some good, others about which I am downright ambivalent:

After a visit with Mom-Mom and Pappy, she returned home and I was suddenly "Mom," not "Mommy." I do not blame the grandparents for this . . . but wow, I wish I'd gotten the memo! I feel like I'm suddenly parenting a teenager, which means I'm suddenly 45 . . .

Today in the car Lilah announced that, although Ryan and I were already married, we had not yet fallen "into" love with each other. "But sweetie," I said, "when will we?"

"Oh, I don't know. Not yet."

Hmmm . . . is Electra (and her associated complex) rearing her pretty little head?

Collin dancing, Rock n Roll Style

Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
First of all, no, he is not wearing pants (Jim Morrison didn't, why should Collin?)

Second, a story: Ryan and Collin dance vigorously to some music (the B-52's) on a Saturday morning. Tables are pushed aside, a rug is cut, hands are thrown in the air like no one cares. Winded, Ryan suggests that they switch gears and color instead, and he steers Collin to the table.

Climbing into his seat, Collin pauses, looks at Ryan. "Daddy," he says, "my heart feels like it still wants to dance."

So they do.

There they go . . . 3, going on 18

Originally uploaded by Ryan Claycomb
First of all, the license plate refers to the CAR. Sheesh.

Lilah spent the weekend with her beloved cousin Jenna earlier this month, and this shot was taken then. There is another, very cute one of them in the car head-on, grinning like mad-women, but I like this one, while at the same time finding it terrifying. Are there wine coolers in the trunk of that thing? Itsy-bitsy bikinis? Cell phones with boys' phone numbers on them? Where are they headed anyway, and who gave that girl a license?