Our second youngest child was born with a zest for living. This was obvious with even a quick glance at my baby’s face. With his eyebrows raised in surprise, eyes wide open to see everything around him and lips smiling with glee. Anthony was a delightful infant, toddler and young child. Actually his temperament at twenty has not changed much at all!
Anthony had a marvellous imagination, creating dramatic play scenarios like intense sword fights with invisible villains. By the time he was two and a half, he insisted on wearing one of two batman sweatshirts every morning. Anthony needed to wear his batman sweatshirt, so I just acquiesced and washed one of the sweatshirts every night.
By four-years-old he had added a black cape, felt fedora hat and black barn boots to his daily uniform. His outfit was my little guy’s salute to his three heroes Batman, Zorro and the Canadian Mounted Police.
He tried to imitate Batman’s ability to fly. I caught Anthony just in time when he was three, as he slung a leg over the banister, so he could sweep down and save a hapless victim of crime. After that incident, I convinced him to jump off the fourth step of the front hall staircase. Honestly that little boy jumped countless times every day, black cape billowing behind him. One afternoon, a doctor passed us in a hospital and smiled at Anthony’s outfit,
“Oh my, what do we have here, Batman?”
Anthony took a flying leap, cape billowing behind him again and answered,
“Oh no, I’m Batman Foevaaaa….”
Another time, as we sat in a doctor’s waiting room, four-year old Anthony backed up and then crouched low like a runner’s preparing to sprint towards the plate-glass window. Shocked, I called out,
“ANTHONY, what are you doing?”
My four-year old son adjusted his tense stance and said,
“I am going to run and leap and smash that glass with my feet! Then I’ll fly through the air.”
However, Anthony did get a few chances to really fly when his older brother’s friends came out to the farm. Matthew’s friends would play catch throwing Anthony instead of a ball. With his little legs tucked, arms clutched tightly around his bent legs, the strong teenagers would toss my son between each other!!
It was teenage sleepovers that provided Anthony with his most memorable flying feats. On early Saturday mornings, he would run from our big farm kitchen, down the hall and then launched himself into the air to land on all the teenage bodies strewn about the family room. A series of groans and moans joined Anthony’s gales of laughter as he yelled,
“Come on guys, it’s time to get up!”
Matthew’s friends still shake their heads and grin when they remember their flying alarm clock.