Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Fruit of My Loins

Like Canadian geese flying north, or crocus buds poking through thawing earth, spring has many harbingers announcing the new season’s arrival. At Chez Teravainen, the seasons have officially changed when THE WIFE trades her hot coffee for iced and her Pinot Noir for Sauvignon Blanc. Welcome, spring.

As spring itself transitions from normal to monsoon, it will come as no surprise to anyone that both of the kids have grown and developed rapidly in all respects with each passing month. However, Greta and Gus recently manifested different physical changes for which I feel genetically responsible. Specifically, Gigi got the Gap and G-man got the Big Eye.

The Gap is about a quarter-inch space between my two upper front teeth. While my Gap's definitely not in the neighborhood of say Michael Strahan, it is wide enough to put me on the same page of say, Anna Paquin or maybe even Condoleeza Rice. Over the course of my life, the Gap has evolved from a dental defect of which I was completely unaware during childhood, to a source of self-conscious insecurity during puberty, to an eventual state of acceptance during college, and ultimately to a personal symbol of pride for my imperfection.

We Gap folks are like Jeep owners and Harley riders. When we pass each other on the street, we respectfully nod or subtly wave with two fingers only. It’s kind of an unofficial fraternal order.

Gigi definitely qualifies as a rank and file member of the Gap team at this moment but her eligibility may be premature. Time will tell if the space reduces as her molars come in, or if the current Gap distance changes when the baby teeth are replaced by adult ones. For the time being, I’m happy to emphasize an appreciation for the Gap’s advantages such as the access it provides for easy gleeking, or the ease with which we can whistle. As for whether Greta opts someday for braces, I will happily acquiesce – especially if she inherits her mom’s bucky beavers in which case we'll have a dental hot mess.

On the other hand, the Big Eye was a phenomenon that developed when I started wearing glasses around 7 years old. My right eye was fine, so the right lens was clear. By contrast, the left eye’s prescription was so strong that the lens was just a giant magnifying glass.

Since I was a kid constantly outgrowing shoes and clothes, my parents figured, “Let’s get him glasses on the bigger side, so he doesn’t outgrow them quickly." Consider also that this was the early 80’s, so large frames were de rigeur. As a result, when people looked at me closely, they’d realize I had one normal sized eye and another that was borrowed from an angry giant squid. I'm traumatized whenever I look at photos from 1982 to 1989.

G-man’s left eye also now requires specs as the eye doctor suggests that use of the glasses on the earlier side may help improve the little man’s vision in the long run. As you may suspect, ten month old kids are not big fans of wearing glasses. Consequently, we will invoke a technique popularized by pioneers Kurt Rambis and James Worthy from the NBA’s glorious years of the 80’s: the rec specs with elastic band around the head.

Fortunately for him, the Aug-Dawg looks way cuter and cooler in his glasses than I ever have. THE WIFE checked out a few prototypes and we’re waiting on them to arrive. I am optimistic Gus will not be upset when viewing pics of himself from 2011 and beyond. Simply due to the small size of his face, I think G-unit will be safe from any Big Eye situation in the near future. But when the time is right, I’ll show him how we can burn ants with our left eyeglass lenses. Great bonding.

Like father, like daughter and son.