From the age of two, Elder has had the habit of sitting on his heels, crouched in the position of a baseball catcher waiting for a pitch. When playing video games, he perched on the carpet, sitting crouched on his heels. When eating at the kitchen island, he balanced on the high chairs, sitting crouched on his heels. When reading a book, he settled on the floor, sitting crouched on his heels.
As he has grown older and, more importantly, taller, the habit faded.
I thought, anyway.
The other day, after work and before joining his friends, Elder disappeared into his bathroom to shave his beard. A few minutes later, needing to run the Roomba and not wanting the little robot to jump the divider between the open area around the stairs into the bathroom, I reached to shut the door he had left open.
Only to pause in mid-stretch when I found Elder perched precariously on the counter over the bowl of the sink, sitting crouched on his heels.
“What?” he queried, meeting my eyes in the mirror, pausing with the electric razor hovering over one cheek.
“Nothing,” I blinked, shutting the door slowly. “Nothing. Just clean your mess.”
“Sure, Mom,” he agreed, easily.
Recently, apparently, (I discovered after discussing my experience) Younger wandered into the bathroom in the wee hours of the morning, startled to discover his older brother brushing his teeth, balanced on the sink counter, sitting crouched on his heels. And, also apparently, this imitation of a catcher is a more alarming sight when it greets a person suddenly and unexpectedly with the flick of a light at two o’clock in the morning.
And, again apparently, Younger has learned to control certain urges until dawn has broken the horizon.
“A gargoyle, Mom” Younger whispered. “I thought he was a gargoyle.”
I’m not sure what normal is, exactly.
But I’m pretty sure we aren’t the definition of it.