Saturday, January 07, 2017


Our three-year-old son has taken to occasionally wanting to hold my arm for a few seconds as a soothing gesture when I put him to bed. And it's not my wrist he seeks but my bicep; he has even gone so far as to ask me to roll up my sleeves to grant him better access to that part of the upper arm.

As a parent of a pre-schooler, I am generally tired and will appease him because it means he will go to sleep faster.

At first I thought he found it comforting to touch the muscle, as though it made him feel safe to be near his strong Daddy. Then he started squeezing my bicep and gleefully saying it was "squishy."

Here's the thing: I am absolutely certain in his mind that is a colossal compliment. That his father has a part of the arm which he can squeeze is apparently what makes him feel better in those moments after I've turned off the light in his room.

It is that oblivion that makes it somewhat endearing, and allows me to put aside societal conditioning about musculature when he specifically asks for "the squishy part" (as has become his preferred phrasing).

I could be more physically fit (of course), but rather than this inspiring me to hit the gym I am merely pleased he hasn't figured out a way to try to grab my stomach. Which I'm sure will only be a matter of time until he does.

And I'm sure I'll learn to live with that, because while I may only be doing so-so when it comes to being "in shape" I can roll with such things by being in reasonably decent parenting condition. Or, again, too tired to object.