I can solve the Rubik’s Cube in 2 minutes. I have done it for years and still appreciate the stress relief of lining up like colors, twisting them in their spot, removing them for a moment while their neighbor moves in position, and then replacing them to their rightful position. I’ve probably solved the cube a thousand times, and while I cut time in the beginning, it has been several years since I have gotten any faster at it. 2 minutes is great as a party trick. But speed-cube competitions are settled in less than 30 seconds. Most recently a teenager solved the cube in something like 11 seconds.
Riley was 2 years old when he was speaking full-sentences and negotiating like a lawyer. You could reason with the kid when he was a toddler and he seemed to have advanced logic and problem solving skills that were complemented by his vocabulary. He sure got these skills young, but now at 7, his vocabulary isn’t above the curve. He’s no more able to solve problems or use logic than his peers. We expect these skills from a 7 year old. But at 2 we thought he was a whiz kid. Hey, it didn’t hurt that he was adorable with that curly red hair either. While I label our skills above as “talents” I don’t see people lining up at the Ms./Mr. Utah pageant to watch me solve the Rubik’s Cube or listen to Riley convince the daycare teacher that it, in fact, is NOT time for a nap. To add to the list of talents this family possesses, I’ve honed in on Casey’s latest. He’s an egg finder.
Casey will turn 3 in a couple of weeks. And he has a very advanced skill for a child his age. He can find hidden eggs with ease. With much greater ease than his brother. We discovered this skill a year ago at the annual Moab Easter Egg Hunt. Easter was in March last year, so Casey wasn’t even 2 years old yet. He was competing with other 1 and 2 year olds. Most of these kids wandered into the field holding a parent’s hand and were coaxed into picking up eggs lying in the grass in plain sight. Over and over I heard the sing-song Motherese voices, “Look kiddo, you found an egg.” Casey wasn’t going to stand for that. At first mention that the eggs had candy in them, Casey must have launched his plan. First of all, he refused to hold my hand. When the whistle blew, he ran as fast as he could, past the eggs in plain sights, to the far corner of the field, to a tree and an out building, and he looked high and low – not just at eye level. He picked up those colored eggs with delight, passing up the pink and purple ones to claim only the yellow and blue ones. He has standards you know. He got dozens of eggs. Riley didn’t get any. Casey was even nice enough to allow me to steal an egg and drop it next to a tree so Riley could find one egg for his lonely basket.
Casey’s supreme ability was proven again last weekend. We joined Chicory from An Accident of Hope and a group of pagans from her church (I know pagans and church don’t always go well together, but in her church there doesn’t seem to be anything amiss) in their annual Ostara egg hunt. A nice quiet reminder that Ostara actually once meant something before a narcissist named Jesus came and stole the holiday. In all fairness, I guess I ought to blame his followers not Jesus himself, but still, THIS HOLIDAY IS ABOUT FECUNDITY, and spring and procreating like BUNNIES! It is simply not about DYING ON A CROSS. And what’s that? That’s right, appearing again. “Before Houdini there was Jesus folks. Step right up and see for yourself.” Apologies. I’ve digressed. I only mentioned Ostara to illustrate again, what a dominant force in the sport of egg finding, Casey still is.
If only he jumped up to a piano and started thumping out a melody. If only he twisted his body in backbends and did flips off of the couch. If only he picked up his pencil and sketched out a masterpiece. See, those kinds of talents are able to be nurtured. What does a parent do with the ability to find eggs filled with candy? Especially when that ability doesn’t transcend into finding the stuffed lamb you put underwear on and then stuck in your bottom drawer.