My four-year-old boy is energetic.
He’s exuberant, and joyous, and spontaneous. He lives life right at the edge of his own eyeballs, too busy to retreat into his brain and dwell on stuff.
He also, as I’ve already mentioned, dances like Iggy Pop.
In many ways he’s an inspiration; a little genetic reminder of how there’s innocent fun to be had out there if you can just stop thinking for a minute.
There is a down side to all this though. The most visceral example of which is that I receive an unbridled punch to the balls every now and again.
You know that feeling, when you’re bursting with so much joy that the urge to share it with the nearest human being overwhelms you? Your soul needs a release and only an adrenalin-fuelled bout of human contact will hit the spot.
A spontaneous bear-hug, or the slap of a high-five.
My four-year-old spends much of his day on the brink of that joy.
Which is great.
Unfortunately, my bollocks are, for him, at high-five height.
With no visible palm against which to slap his own, his hand curls into a fist involuntarily, and he punches me square in the cobblers. It happens about once every forty-eight hours.
The fact that he seeks out me, his daddy, to share this joy, is clearly an expression of pure love. Coursing through his veins, into his clenched fist, and mainlined directly to my balls.
I tell him, each time, wincing through teary-eyes, to PLEASE STOP PUNCHING ME IN THE BALLS!
But this is undermined every time by the laughter of the rest of my family, who gather round my poleaxed body to share a communal moment.
And the truth is, I like it.
Which sounds weird.
But there’ll come a time, in a few years, when I’ll look back at these violent expressions of love with fondness, misty-eyed; not only have they surely saved me the inconvenience of having to arrange a vasectomy, but they’ve created the memories that’ll really last.
No doubt, when he reaches seventeen or eighteen, other people in his life will be the recipients of his loving gestures.
I, his daddy, will probably feel like I’d give anything for one more punch in the balls from my joyous, loving boy.
I mean the four-year-old version, obviously.
A full upper-cut from a strapping eighteen-year-old doesn’t quite have the same appeal.
(Image: via pixabay.com)