Thursday, January 5, 2012

Advancements and Fears

Happy New Year friends and family,

The backyard is becoming a regular hang out spot for the 4 Webbs.  We eat out there more and more often because the warm sun and moderate temperatures make a wonderful combination.

One of my favorite feelings in the world is getting in the sun-warmed car after freezing in church on Sunday morning.  Not sure why that memory sticks with me so vividly from childhood, but I still smile and let out a sigh of relief when I de-thaw in the warm car.

The twins are finding the joy in playing on the grass as opposed to the asphalt cul-de-sac in front of our old house.  There is a not-so-surprising increase in playing soccer and kicking the ball around because the penalty for failure is much less.  Falling on the pavement led to crying, scrapes and band-aides.  Now the only thing to worry about is dodging the occasional dog pile.  

I had the privilege of joining Easton and Layla through the Phoenix Zoo lights experience.  A bonus of the season passes is that we get a couple of zoo lights tickets.  Kendra stayed at home because her neck is really knotted up in pain.  Daddy to the rescue!  We had an intensely good time with some odd outcomes.

Layla conversed with the 15 foot tall giraffe puppet by asking him questions like "How do you play and walk?" and telling him about her upcoming birthday party.  She invited the giraffe to the party, which got a good laugh from the 30-40 people standing around for the show.  

Easton hid behind me repeating, "Daddy, I don't know what to say to the giraffe!"  After watching Layla safely converse with the giraffe without being eaten, Easton stepped out as we were leaving and gave a big wave and "bye!" to the big fella.  The giraffe said good bye to Easton.  He walked away with a perplexed look on his face.  I could tell he was trying to reconcile what just happened.  He knows the giraffe is fake, but it moves and converses with them.    What a conundrum for them to unravel...  

Then we were given the opportunity to pet sting rays.  I mean real life, swimming in the water sting rays!  I squatted down to their level and asked if they were going to be brave and pet them.  They both held their breath a few seconds then thoughtfully assured me they ARE brave enough.

When it was time to be brave Easton thrust his hand into the pool of swarming stingrays.  His smile says it all.

Layla wanted to join in, but her caution kicked in overdrive.  She watched as Easton ran his hand along the slick, rubbery wings of the sting rays a few times.  Then the thrill of Easton's success overcame Layla's fears.    She put her hand partially in the water so I had to help hold her out further where the sting rays were swimming by.  She instinctively trusted me and reveled in the experience after observing Easton's bravery.

Easton would have never engaged in conversations with the giraffe if Layla weren't there to show him the way.  Likewise, Layla would have never pet the sting rays if Easton were there to show her the way.  This is a great example of how the two of them overcome fear and advance through life by building on the other's strengths.

The lights at the zoo were awesome, but most of them were very tall.  I tried to take a picture of the twins with a lit-up tree in the background, but it's so high that I had to lay down on the ground with the camera to get decent shot.

The two In-N-Out sticker pages below describe the different (not better or worse) levels of Easton and Layla's skill sets.  The idea is to take the sticker squares numbered 1-20 from one side and match the square on the other side to make a picture.  Easton's is on the left and exactly what I expect.  He was looking at each sticker piece and asking me scientific questions like, "what makes it stick, Dad?"  He is very inquisitive, and organized, but doesn't care about getting each square in the exact location even though I know he could.  Layla's is on the right and she nailed all 20 squares with precision for their location and orientation.  I was shocked at how quickly she figured it out and the great job she did.

That situation is a prime example of why I love being a father of twins.  I enjoy their individual personalities and character traits on full display at the same time.

Another thing I enjoy is sitting on my back patio.  The Christmas decorations are down and since we bought new lights for next year we decided to make use of the lights for a year-around fence display.  Makes the back yard very festive.  As Kyle pointed out, all we need are tiki torches and some luau music to make it a party atmosphere.

The twins turn four years old in one month.  Kendra and I are blown away by the thought of our sweet boy and girl turning four.  The more they grow the less dependent they are on us.  We realize the blessing in not being in such high demand, but also the tragic truth that they are getting older so quickly...

See you soon!

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