He doesn’t like applause.
For God’s sake, when he’s dribbling across the field like a little Pele (and the kid really can dribble), do not clap for him — unless you wanna stop him in his tracks and watch him shut down, watch him stare at the grass and shove his hand into his mouth.
When it’s his turn to dance to “Oye Mamacita” for Grandma Carmen and Auntie Jenn, please do not clap or holler too much — unless you wanna see him yell, “No, I don’t like that,” and run into my arms, his lip out, brow furrowed, eyes down.
When you take him to work, and you say, “We’re gonna have fun, huh?” he’ll nod and say, “Yep.” And when you say, “We’ll go and visit some of my coworkers, too,” he’ll nod and say, “Yep.” But when you add, “And this time you’re gonna say hi to them, okay?” he just looks at you with these enormous brown eyes and informs, “No.”
And he lives up to his word.
My son Dylan, 3, takes time warming up. And he doesn’t like the spotlight. I understand these things. His mother doesn’t like the spotlight, either, and I think that’s just fine.
What amuses me is just how opposite he is from his big brother, who this past summer talked his way into dancing before thousands of people at a baseball game — for four innings. Dylan is far more happy to dance at home for the family, so long as no one makes too big a fuss.
Perfectly fine with me. I just think I might need to buy this kid a T-shirt announcing, “If You Wanna Clap, Wait for My Brother.”