Hankering for Handstands

A quick handstand before school.

Have you ever admired the strength and precision of a handstand? It is the ultimate symbol of control and potency. Now imagine that same handstand over and over again in every room of your house and at all hours of the day and night. Imagine watching this handstand during dinner, in the middle of conversations and while watching your favorite television show. Needless to say, the handstand has transformed from marvel to mind-numbing thanks to my six-year-old (AD).

AD is a naturally athletic and extremely active boy. At two we made him run laps inside our house when we thought he needed to blow off the extra steam and it was too cold or late to go outside. At four we bought him a stand-up punching bag to express his energy in a productive way. After joining soccer and basketball at five he became better able to control his need for speed, but sometime before his 6th birthday he discovered the handstand.

I blame myself really. He was playing around one day, trying to get into a handstand position, when I explained the best way to hold the position. His Dad and I were so proud. We cheered and encouraged this feat of strength.  We even showed off his newfound skill to anyone who would visit. If only we had known. If only we had realized.

To make things worse, he introduced the magical allure of the handstand to the children in my daycare. Every once in a while I catch the two, three, and four-year-olds trying to simultaneously master this trick. I know I should embrace the handstand the way many others have. There are entire forums and websites like www.handstandsaroundtheworld.com dedicated to this gymnastic move. Apparently, 2011 was the year of the handstand and June 26, 2011 was the first-ever International Handstand Day (yes, really).

It is pretty awesome a move, so I suppose it is ridiculous for me to give it a second thought, right? But, I think I know what is coming next and I’m terrified. Can you imagine the day he masters the backflip?

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