The worst part about being an only child was backyard football. When you’re an only child, you not only have to be the center, but also the quarterback and the receiver. It involves a quick snap to yourself and then throwing the ball far and high enough to run and catch it downfield. I was Frank Winters, Brett Favre, and Antonio Freeman all rolled into one. (See some of Freeman’s finest work here.)
Other than that, it’s pretty great. You get your own room, all the presents at Christmas, plenty of imaginary friends, and occasional jurisdiction over the remote control. I was fortunate to remain an only child. For my daughter, Lucy, her reign as an only child recently ended with the birth of our son, Brooks.
One of the reasons this is good is because Lucy will have to learn to share. One thing she can share immediately is a love of art. At three years old, she can’t tell Manet from Monet (would I be able?), but she loves to draw, paint, and use crayons anywhere and anytime. From birth, she attended the Woodson Art Museum’s Art Babies program and has since “graduated” to Art Time for Tots and Toddler Tuesday, helping foster her art appreciation.
I have a feeling Brooks also will participate in and enjoy these programs. They are not only fun, but educational, enhance creativity, and provide an opportunity to engage in constructive activities with their peers. Sometimes, snacks also are involved. Snacks help.
Although both of my children might have their heads buried in art books or dabbing at their palettes someday, I hope they won’t forget to play a little backyard football with their dad. I’ve been waiting for competition for thirty years. It will be easier to talk trash to someone other than myself.