Thursday, April 29, 2010


It's probably been happening for some time now, I just never really noticed it.  Nate's Lego constructs have mostly been on the small scale, usually assembled from pieces no longer than two stud lengths.  Last Friday he dragged out his mega blocks and started building with them.  It seemed like he was only at it for a short while when he walked into the office to show me this.

It may not look like much to you, but to me it was vastly different from the other things he's made.  It's obvious that some thought went into it.  It is completely symmetrical, in form and colour. My first response was to ask him if he had made it by himself.  Silly question really.  I had been in the office, Patty was out of town, there really wasn't anyone else!  But to me it didn't seem possible that he had done it all by himself.

Later on that same day he came and showed me this.

'A robot!', I said.  
'No!  It's a mask!' he said.

And so it was, complete with eyes you could look through.  

I have no idea when a child is supposed to develop these abilities, I just find it fascinating that it came about so quickly, and that I was fortunate enough to be around to witness it.  A few days later, I watched him as he put together a 'building' in the waiting room at the dentist's.  You could almost see the gears turning in his head, as he picked through the bins looking for the pieces he needed.  He almost always picked them in pairs, but sometimes he'd find one piece and add it to the building before going back to find another one.  If he couldn't find another one, he would look for a new pair that would work instead.

I'm pretty sure I could have watched him for hours.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The tooth fairy

I took Nate to see the dentist yesterday morning.  Some while ago he was trying to show Patty he could jump up and spin around in the air.  However he forgot he had his hands in his pockets and lost his balance.  He fell and smacked his face into the hardest part of the kitchen floor.  A while later we noticed that his front left tooth was starting to discolour.

Yesterday, we learned that the tooth was dead and had to come out.  So the good dentist took some time to explain to Nate how the tooth fairy had called and put in a request for Nate's tooth.  Apparently she's building a house and needs Nate's tooth because it's the perfect fit for a hole in one of the walls.  Personally, I find the idea of a house built out of teeth a little creepy, but Nate seemed to think this was perfectly fine.  Dr. Livingstone also explained how they would remove his tooth, and how he would have to take it home and put it under his pillow so that the tooth fairy could pick it up.   He's already wondering what the tooth fairy will leave him in return for his tooth.  

The whole visit went without a hitch, and he didn't even want to leave after he was done.  We spent another 20 minutes in the waiting room so that he could play with the mega blocks.  He's always enjoyed going to the dentist and I hope that his next visit won't change that.  

On the walk back to his grandparents' after that, he told me 'I love my dentist'.  He also told me he loved me and I was his best friend.  He turned to hug me, and I picked him him up to give him a big squeeze.  Then he broke the spell with 'You can put me down now dad!'  He's so sentimental.

We go back on Monday morning to get the tooth removed.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Nate (after a series of coughs):
I think I have an allergy. Yeah, I think I'm myself.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Everything I know about baseball comes from movies like The Natural, Field of Dreams, and Bull Durham.  When his nana asked him if he knew what baseball was, Nate's reply was "Yeah. It's a show on TV".  Are you starting to see a pattern here?

His grandfather got him the tee ball set.  To my untrained eye, he looks like he's got pretty good form.  But what do I know about baseball?

More signs of spring


The cherry tree is budding, little flowers under the maple, and hyacinths in bloom.

They're also good for making pictures

I have no idea what he thinks he's doing with them, but he sure had fun!  What a goofy kid, I suppose he gets that from me.

Then there's this snippet of a conversation from the other day.

Nate (playing Lego Indiana Jones on the Wii):  
Dad, I can't move anymore!  

Hold on Nate, I think that remote is out of juice.

Juice?  There's no juice in the remote! That's ridiculous!

No the batteries are dead, they're out of juice.

Oh!  There's the juice that is the real juice you can drink, and there's the juice that's electricity!

And not long after that he's talking to me about solar power.  I kid you not.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I still remember it clear as day the first time I met Beka. It was early 1991, and I had been in Toowoomba for maybe two weeks. I had just moved into that dodgie place across the paddock from school, which looked like it had been put together overnight. It was a hot afternoon, and I was hanging out in the common room by myself. I hadn't met too many people yet, I was feeling homesick, and missing my friends. A girl came in to get a drink of water, she smiled at me and said hi, then she was gone again.

A while later, I heard someone singing. It wasn't anything in particular, just some sort of scale or something, but it was the voice that caught my attention. It was just so beautiful. I can't really put it into words, but it was such a crystal clear sound it didn't seem possible that it was being made by a human being. I walked down the hall towards the sound of the singing, and peeked in through an open door. It was the same girl from earlier, singing while she unpacked.

That was my introduction to Beka. I can't tell you what the exact date was, or what I was wearing. But I remember exactly what Bek was wearing, and I can still hear the amazing sound of her voice.

This morning I learned that Beka had passed away after a four year battle with cancer. I have known for some time that this was coming, but it is still hard to accept. I have lots of memories of Beka, but I think the one I cherish the most is of our first meeting and that initial shock of realization that that beautiful girl was the source of that most wondrous sound.