earnest will

there is something about children in a state of "earnestness"
that really endears me.

Will (in all of his best and worst moments)
is possibly the most earnest human I know.

unbridled affection * unrestrained emotion * cheerful "galump-ing"*
he's intense. he's unabashed. he's fully revealed.

If he senses that your level of attentiveness
does not mirror his level of urgency:
He'll grasp your face firmly,
his two little palms reshaping your cheeks,
directing your face to squarely address his own
inches from his widely opened eyes.

whatever it is you're experiencing with Samuel William,
you can count on it being very sincere.

here's "earnest will" when he was about 4 months old.


Will (sincerely-earnestly-intensely) loves
to watch cousin Liam play soccer.

Here's a clip from last week's game.
Props to Liam for some nice defensive work.
There was much that I did not capture (dead battery).

Observe Will's constant attempts to inform Liam of his presence.
And his instantaneous joy when Liam's team scores.

BTW: for 4 consecutive nights after this game
Will exclusively requested that his "special story"
feature: "Liam Plays Soccer"


for my final "Earnest Will" exhibit,
I invite you to enjoy this short clip from the archives.
the sound quality is terrible
but the memory is firmly embedded in my mine.
We called him "captain hillarious"
he had just learned the joy of diabolical laughter

i tried to sign him up for "Junior Super-villain camp that summer,
but apparently you have to be potty-trained.

*galump-ing: (gerund) to galump(v); the way that Will walks with an unbalanced but moderately rhythmic shuffle-thump, corresponding (momentary) shoulder shrugs, and consequential swaying of perfectly limp arms--ultimately conveying a sense of optimistic possibility and his unmoderated embrace of whatever the immediate future holds.


Suz said...

this has GOT TO BE my favorite post ever!! Daniel, You captured Will perfectly with your description of his earnest sincere personality. I have seen it a thousand times, and it is sooooo endearing. Are you sometimes tempted to barely pay attention so he WILL grab your face? I love that moment. What a honey. Thanks for sharing "daddyspeak" about my boy. More, More, More! I demand more. :)

Anonymous said...

A word of caution: I am a very open person about my emotions and what I am feeling about things and most people don't know how to deal with it or handle it. I am not saying that your beautiful boy be "trained" to hide his emotions, but rather that you teach him and help him to find "safe" people he can share his *true* emotions with so that he doesn't get hurt (like I have on several occasions).

Daniel Rudd said...

maybe instead I could just have him conduct all his relational transactions anonymously...


(I'm mostly joking, and guessing that your experiences cause you to fear people's responses -- I'm sorry for that)

i think the reckless disclosure of children is one of the most heart-breakingly beautiful things one can ever observe.

Somehow as we become adults we learn to "manage" the presentation of our true selves, and carefully select our levels of honesty (and the recipients of that honesty).

And there is good reason for this.
When I'm angry (or experience other impulses) it might be unkind, disrespectful, or unproductive for me to just instantly blurt out my feelings.

But the idea of loosing that transparency is still sad.

I wish we could all be like Will.

And I do believe in a future reality where that kind of transparency will exist (a society or "kingdom" so peaceful that you could say it was intended for the "child-like")

Simultaneously, I aways wish that I could protect him (and all children) from ever having a broken heart.

While my control addiction recovery process steers me away from any illusion that I can (or should) protect my children from the experience of pain and hurt,
I do hope that I can help him learn to make good choices about where, when, and how he places his trust.

Unfortunately, the most compelling lessons he learns will be those of his own creation.


Of course the only way to REALLY be "safe" in this regard is to never care for anyone, and never disclose your true self. But then maybe you wouldn't be alive at all.

Jacob said...

Realize this was a month ago, but just wanted to say that this is one of the most compelling things I've read on here Daniel :)

Hope things are well for you brother.