Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Captain Hawk: World Traveler

There’s more to come on our trip, but unexpected gadgetological troubles and the rebalancing of circadian rhythms means y’all’ll have to stand by for a bit. (The promised ethnographic study, “Kiwis and Their Attitudes toward Housing,” is forthcoming.) However, if you’re anything like my workmates, you want to know how Hawk did on the flights.

When people meet Hawk and witness his uncannily sunny disposition, they’re quick to say, “He’s such a good baby!” And of course he is, as all babies are good. But what they typically mean by “good” is “convenient and easy,” which, though we aim to keep these ideas separate, he certainly is. The flights were pleasant, if lengthy, non-events for the lad, with the added bonus of not requiring his least favorite accoutrement, the dreaded car seat.

One of the highlights of the trip, for me, was simply the privilege of being together with Hawk. I haven’t spent so much continuous time with him since he was born. As any parent knows, watching your child grow and develop is an immense source of joy and satisfaction, and here I felt I was privy to things I’d been missing during work hours. When he wakes, Hawk tends to bless us with his sweet, drowsy whisperings, though one morning he sat up and boldly and clearly proclaimed, “Garg.” He learned how to crawl up stairs, taught himself how to work a light switch, and one of the big thrills each day was pressing elevator and crosswalk buttons. He also worked on standing up without support, a skill he practiced by bouncing on the bed. By the time of our (10-hour) layover in LAX on the way back, he had done it several times, sans bouncing, from the floor of lovely Gate 8.

A friend of mine, who doesn’t have children, once suggested Jenifer and I get all our traveling in before having a kid. But I wouldn’t trade this time with Hawk for anything. Just as we’ve discovered that visiting other cultures teaches you more about your own, traveling as a family outside the usual day-to-day restrictions, in my experience, opens you up to a deeper sense of who you are and what you want in life. It's also great fun.

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Blogger Eric D. Lehman said...

10 hour layover in LAX, eh? Still doesn't beat my 30 hour airport layover in Lima, Peru.

Good to have you back.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Mainline Mom said...

Awesome. He's so cute too!

10:57 PM  
Blogger Ryan Rasmussen said...

Thanks, MM!

Oh, and Eric: the LAX layover was actually only eight hours. It gets kinda blurry after awhile.

9:24 AM  

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