My son has created a catch phrase that very well could sweep the nation. You may not have heard it yet because it is currently being swept under the nation’s rug, but once this news hits the interweb, look out.
The pop culture revolution began with my mother, who watches the Twins twice a week while I doctorize on campus. As the kids slowly become geniuses just like their parents, they are constantly acquiring new skills and lifehacks–like standing up and walking on their own, infiltrating government-grade security measures, or composing their very first rock opera (entitled American Infant) with nothing but a toy xylophone and Daddy’s GarageBand app.
Appropriately, whenever the Twins would use their newfound superpowers for good, my mother made a point to positively reinforce these behaviors, thus congratulating, “You did it!”
This became an overnight chart-topper with the kids, and soon, around November, every time my son accomplished a task, he’d triumphantly proclaim, “Did it!”
Knocking down a twenty-story tower of stacking cups… “Did it.”
Climbing up and over the legs Daddy futilely intended as a crawling barricade… “Did it.”
Turning the page of a board book with his trademark single-finger approach… “Did it.”
Thieving his sister’s toy, sending her into an inferno of tears and arm-flails while he mirthfully admires his spoils… “Did it.”
Over time, the “Did it” catch-phrase craze pervaded our entire household. After laughing our asses off at our son the first 50 times (and dutifully reattaching them to our pelvises), my wife and I just couldn’t deny the sheer empowerment the utterance awakens, and joined the movement.
Upon finishing the evening’s mountain of dishwashing and high-chair de-funkification… “Did it!”
Adhering a dismantled diaper box to our fireplace with packing tape so as to ward off tiny invaders… “Did it!”
Finally getting them both to sleep at 3 a.m. after an hour-long double meltdown… “Did it!”
Before long, my daughter became a proud member of Team Did It, as have our entire extended family. The Twins’ grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even our friends are now also enthusiastically announcing task completion, their fists raised in celebration like a gaggle of Rocky Balboas.
. . .
This January was a whirlwind encircling me with staggering milestones, and found me gawking dumbly at it all, wondering how the hell I got here in what seemed to be a blink of an eye–one so fast that the eyelashes made that whooshy Indiana-Jones-whip sound. I call this phenomenon Life Vertigo–when I take a step back to look at my life and suddenly lose my bearings as I wonder if high school really was that long ago, discover a patch of gray hair where brown once flourished, or realize my children will never again be newborns.
As my wife and I stood among thousands at the Fiesta Bowl Block Party counting down the final seconds of 2011 while a gigantic Tostitos chip was lowered into a gargantuan salsa bowl in an awesomely bad nod to Times Square, the preceding 12 months flashed before my eyes. Never before has a year been more jam-packed with a full spectrum of events and emotions. My wife and I became first-time parents twice and celebrated our half-decade anniversary as a couple. She turned the big three-oh, and in a few short months, I’ll join her. I left a teaching career to stay home with the Twins and pursue a Ph. D. I started this fine publication and people actually read it. Never have I slept less, and never have I accomplished more. And once downtown Tempe erupted in a flurry of confetti and we’d sufficiently New-Year’s-kissed, my wife whispered her first words of 2012 in my ear: “Did it.”
We stood in the airport terminal holding hand-drawn “Welcome home, soldier!” signs. For the past year, my family had been missing an instrumental member, my step-father-in-law, who’d been serving in Afghanistan. Aside from the already-difficult separation from his wife and children, he’d also sacrificed watching the Twins grow through their first year, with the exception of occasional Skyping. It was rough for all of us without him, and every time we had a significant event or holiday here, it just didn’t seem the same. But that was all about to end with his triumphant return. After all of the apprehension and anxiety, the perils and prayers, we’d made it through. And as we watched his million-dollar smile approach, he raised a fist and shouted a phrase he’d been using across the world after learning it via video chat: “Did it!”
Amidst the army of Pink and Blue Sock Monkeys we’d assembled as the theme for the Twins’ First Birthday Party EVER Extravaganza, we buckled our year-old loinfruits into their high chairs. The sea of faces surrounding us was a star-studded Who’s Who of Our Facebook Friends, flanked by a bouncy castle, ice sculptures, and various technicians preparing the laser light show set to erupt just as two tiny mouths blew out their candles. The kajillions around the globe who’d tuned in to the CNN broadcast all joined us in a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday To You” and my son and daughter each tore into their own respective blue and pink birthday cakes. Once they’d had their cake and eaten it, too, and the paparazzi flashes subsided, I began the daunting task of cleaning up my frosting-smeared son. And as I stood him up in front of me to wipe his face, he flashed me his mischievous, cocked-eyebrow grin, and said “Did it.”
“We sure did, Buddy.”
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