The Big Numero Uno

Written Aug 26, 2012

(Editor’s note:  Please excuse my legs and orange jogging shorts in the photo.  We wanted to do a formal one year old photo sitting for Timothy, but this will have to do for now.)

Timothy has known for a long time how to bring his hands together (though the term ‘long time’ is relative, since he’s only been around for a year), but he recently started doing it more intentionally.  When Laura claps, the little guy watches her and does the same.  We’re not at a standing ovation yet, but it’s really cute to watch him execute his little golf clap.

Before taking a roadtrip, you should look closely at the car’s gas gauge to make sure that there’s enough gasoline for the whole trip.  It’s similar when you’re about to take a jog with a teething infant.  You should look that child in the eye and make sure that he or she is committed to making it the full distance.  Earlier this week, while putting the boy in the jogging stroller for a run, I glanced at Timothy and he wouldn’t make eye contact.  I chose to ignore the warning signs, and paid the price.

Once we reached the farthest point away from the house in our run, the air started going out of the balloon.  He first started whining, then some crying, and after hitting a few bumpy sidewalk cracks, he hit a level of crying that was hard to hide behind.  This left me with two options – stop and comfort the needy baby or ignore the crying and hope that it gets better or at least I get home quickly.  I’m a Minnesotan, which means I’m not overflowing with affection and usually tough things out.  So again, I chose to ignore the flashing lights.

Where I jog, there is often no one out in the evening, but this must have been Neighborhood Night Out or maybe someone with a Twitter feed reported the crying baby/ fading Dad spectacle, because our final 2 miles were like the Boston Marathon, with a parade route full of spectators there to greet us.  If I’d been able to speak while jogging, I would’ve calmed their worried looks and urged them not to contact 911 just yet for either the boy or me.  Instead, I just tried to get home fast.

At last, we arrived home.  No police or emergency vehicles.  Just me covered in sweat and Timothy suddenly calm and happy and giving me a round of applause.

It’s hard to believe that the little rocket man is going to turn a year old on Wednesday.

Over the past year, each Lee family member has gone through some transitions.

After 4 years in middle school, Elisabeth moved last Fall to the large Edina High School.  The transition went well and she’s looking forward to her junior year.

After 5 years with her good friends at Edina Soccer Club, Catherine  reluctantly moved last Fall to the rival club, Eden Prairie (think Sharks and Jets, Vikings and Packers, peanut butter and jelly).  The girls and families on her new team could not have been nicer, and she had a wonderful first year at her new club.

After 10 years, I made the difficult decision to leave Youth Frontiers this Spring to lead Voyageur Outward Bound (the MN branch of Outward Bound).  YF does amazing work that everyone should know about (, and it was hard to leave my friends there.  But I was very fortunate that my good friend and the founder of YF, Joe Cavanaugh, supported my decision in every possible way.  And it’s been a good move for me — I love the people and mission and possibilities at Outward Bound.

So Elisa, Cat and I have been through some real changes over the past year.  And certainly Timothy has seen a couple of new things in year numero uno.  But none of us compares to the winner of this rodeo.

After 14 years without a burp cloth, Laura took on TRBL.  While his arrival was a seismic shift for us all and we’re all involved with him, the little guy knows which one of us butters his bread.  And Laura has shown grace and love and patience to work through the challenges, and at the same time somehow mostly maintained One Team One Dream.

Which deserves a sitting round of golf claps from Timothy.

Happy First Birthday, Timothy.

The Lees

This entry was posted in Parenting lessons -- Don't try this at home and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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