Monthly Archives: May 2011

Adam Dances!

Yes, it’s true. Although he doesn’t talk about it much these days, Adam took dance lessons for a few years when he was a kid. I think he was about four or five when he started. (He also played the piano for a few years, but you didn’t hear that from me!) I guess being around dance studios and recitals from the time he was a toddler finally got to him.

I still remember the day I signed him up for classes. I walked into the studio and told Ms. Gloria Adam wanted to take dance classes. She turned to him and said, “So you want to learn to dance, do you?” to which he replied,”But Ms. Gloria, I already know how to dance!” She in turn asked him what kind of dance he did. He replied, “Wacky dancing!” then set about proving it. Ms. Gloria and I agreed that his dancing was, in fact, wacky.

Adam soon realized there was a great perk to being the only boy in the studio, namely, he was the center of attention for every dance he was in. His first year he was the teddy bear in “Teddy Bear Parade”. I won’t show you the photo of him in that costume, because I’d really like it if he was still talking to me after I post this! It was either the first or second year he also starred in the production number “Boy from New York City”. Doo wop, doo wop, doo doo dity. There’s something unbearably appealing about a preschooler in a suit and fedora! The dance started with the little girls in the class in a chorus line on stage, and as the music started Adam strutted in from stage right. As he stepped out from behind the wing curtain the crowded auditorium went nuts, with people applauding and cheering at his macho cuteness. He really was quite the dude! Be honest, now; wouldn’t you cheer for this strutting across the stage:

During his dance career, he had happy feet. I remember walking through  Sam’s Club with him tapping his way up and down the aisles. When we switched studios, the new studio required everyone that took classes to include at least one class of clogging, so that got folded into the repertoire. Yes, that’s right. Adam Beattie has appeared on stage wearing a sparkly cowboy shirt and clogging his little heart out. He also wore a shiny black suit to tap to “Men in Black”, and red lycra pants to dance to “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”, among others.

As he got older he decided to end his dance career, concerned that his baseball teammates wouldn’t quite get it, or let him live it down. While I was sad to see it end, I understood, too. Kids can be pretty rotten to each other with very little provocation. But, while he was involved in dance, he was really good, so my guess is it’s still in there somewhere, just waiting for a chance to be released and flourish once again. Maybe I should let someone in charge at Forerunner Arts know if they need a tap dancer, he’s their man… Or maybe not. Like I said, I’d really like it if he continued to like me… 🙂

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Adam the Superhero

Take a good look at this photo. It’s one of the last photos you’ll see of Adam in a button-up shirt.  It was taken on the Fourth of July in Houston, as we were waiting for the fireworks to start. Sometime in the following couple of years he went on revolt and refused to wear anything but Tshirts, except on the rare occasion when it was required, such as for a costume. It didn’t matter how hard we tried to convince him, he only wanted Tshirts. When he was older I asked him why he didn’t like button-up shirts, and he informed me they were too much work; Tshirts were easier. It wasn’t until he was 17, though, that the truth came out.

He had been working at Subway for a while, a job that required he wear a polo shirt with (gasp!) three buttons. He put up with it, I think because the buttons were nothing compared to the stench of cheap bread and pickles the shirts always carried. Through a woman at church he heard of a Christian bookstore that was hiring, so he applied after work one day. He got the job on the spot, in spite of the fact that he showed up in his Subway uniform, complete with stinky pickle essence! The one drawback to the new job? He had to wear a button-up shirt and tie. Adam made the wise decision that the job was worth it, so we made a quick trip to Kohl’s to buy a couple of shirts and ties.

He looked SO sharp on his first day of the new job! When he came home from the job, though, he was wearing a Tshirt. I didn’t think too much of it until it happened every day. I asked him what was up and he confessed that he was wearing a Tshirt under his work shirt and tie every day, and would pull the business wear off as soon as he got in his car. (You have to understand these weren’t your typical underwear type Tshirts; these were normal wear-on-the-outside kinds of Tshirts. And it was Tulsa, in the summer!) He informed me that the Tshirt was necessary, because it protected him from the shirt buttons. “Because, you know Mom, shirt buttons are my cryptonite!” and with that his secret identity was revealed; he is, in fact, Captain Tshirt. I offered to make him a cape, but he had seen “The Incredibles” and knew that capes are SO last century, so turned down my offer.

Although he doesn’t generally speak of it (because he’s humble like that) he is still Captain Tshirt. His feats of heroism remain a secret well kept, but I have no doubt but what they are amazing indeed.

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Adam The Brainiac

If you’ve ever met Adam it goes without saying, but just in case, I’ll say it anyway; Adam is super-smart. From the time he was very little he had a knack for figuring things out. OK, so it was usually how to get into something he wasn’t supposed to, but still…

One of his early brainiac conquests came when he was five. We had just made the decision to be a homeschooling family, so were in the process of bringing “smart” things into the house. For some reason I don’t remember, this included getting a wall map of the world. I put it on the kitchen table, then covered it with a clear plastic tablecloth so meals would be educational. (It’s a homeschool thing…) Adam immediately took an interest in the map, asking what the names of various countries were. Within just a few days he had many of the countries in Africa memorized, and requested a map to go on his bedroom wall. Of course I said yes! In less than two months he had a contribution to  make for our homeschool group’s Young Scholars’ Night. We brought in a world map and he successfully pointed out and named all of the countries in Africa and South America, in front of a room full of total strangers!

The next year a friend introduced our family to the awesome world of AWANA. It’s a sort of Bible version of a scouting program, where kids memorize Bible verses and such to earn badges, buttons, and “jewels”. By the time we heard about AWANA a couple months of the school year were gone, but Adam enjoyed it so much we let him join anyway, knowing he was a little behind. He was in the Cubbie category of the club, being the preschool/kindergarten branch of the organization. Since he would be in first grade the next year this would be his only year to earn Cubbie badges. Not wanting to miss out on any awards, Adam worked extra hard and memorized all the verses in the first book, did the repeat of the book required before going on to the next one, did the same in the next book, and went on to go all the way through the final Cubbie book. What normally takes two full years to accomplish (which is a ton of memorization) Adam got through in less than one! Here he is after the Awards Night at the end of the year, wearing his Cubbie vest, holding his completed books, certificate of merit, and behind him is the ribbon he got for completing his level. He was SO proud that night!

Adam’s brain caused a lot of pain, too. There was the time he was about four or five and he started a theological discussion by asking, “Mom, God loves everybody, right?”

“That’s right, Adam.”

“And God hates evil, right?”

“That’s right.”

“So does God love the devil?”

<stunned silence>

After much head-scratching, stammering, and trying desperately to come up with something wise to say (and hoping it would be truth) I hit upon the perfect answer: “Let’s call Grandpa and ask him!” Funny thing is, Grandpa, who has been teaching adult Sunday School since shortly after Noah built the ark, had exactly the same reaction I did! A few years later when we were visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Oregon Adam chose to sit in on Grandpa’s class with his dad rather than go to a children’s class. Adam’s super brain confounded the masses as Grandpa asked questions of the class based on previous weeks’ lessons, and Adam was ALWAYS the first one (sometimes only one) to raise his hand, always with the correct response. Grandpa and his class of retired ladies were quite impressed!

When you stop to think this is where Adam started his career as a scholar, is it really any surprise that he graduated Bible college with honors? I don’t think so either…

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The Natural

Adam has always loved sports. And I mean loved! Anything that even vaguely resembled sports would grab his attention. When he was 2 1/2 we took him to see his first professional baseball game. Nolan Ryan was pitching for the Rangers, and even at his young age, Adam knew this was a big deal. I have no idea how he knew it; he just did. Being a young, single income family, we got cheap seats in the outfield. It was something like, “See that little speck way over there, honey? Not that one! The one by himself in the middle. That’s Nolan Ryan.” Adam was spellbound through the whole game, loving every minute of it. Well, except the interruptions in the game to run to the men’s room. Being in the process of being potty trained, he had the normal little kid fascination with public restrooms. (And yes, Adam, I do know that’s TMI. But I had to be honest, right?)

We were stunned the next day to learn just how much Adam had gotten out of the game the night before. While the normal toddler throws a ball using only their forearm and hand, we found Adam in the backyard mimicking an actual pitchers movements! He had an appropriate wind-up instead of the exaggerated cartoon-style wind-up toddlers usually have, as well as a follow-through. I grabbed my camera and snagged a couple of snapshots. They’re bad quality, but they do show his amazing technique.

This love of baseball led him to a Little league career that started in T-ball and lasted until sometime in high school. As a 4-year-old, Adam had such a reputation as a power hitter the coach for the other team would make his outfielders go deeper into the outfield because there was no question but what that ball way taking a long trip! Later, he had seasons when he played first base, outfielder, pitcher, and catcher. It was playing catcher that really stuck, as I recall.  As far as I know, baseball is still top of his list of pastimes: so much so that he even asked us if we wanted to delay our trip home so we could go see a baseball game with him! Old habits die hard, I guess… 🙂

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It’s Adam Week!!!

In case the photo didn’t give it away, this week Adam graduated from International House of Prayer University. To celebrate his achievement, I have declared this week Adam Week. All week I’ll be sharing memories of him as he grew from a 7 lb 10 1/2 oz baby to the tall, strong man he is.

A logical place to start is with his basic personality. He would be the first to tell you he’s “quirky”, and proud of it. He has always been one of a kind: a true color outside the box kind of guy. When he was little, I’d ask him “Do you want peanut butter, or grilled cheese” and his answer would be, “Bologna!” You have to understand, it wasn’t because he loved bologna that much, but rather, he wanted to make a decision outside the boundaries given. While that could be frustrating as his mom, it has proven to serve him well as he charts his course through life. It also makes it ironic, or maybe totally predictable, that he was a member of the one and only class that will ever graduate from the Social Justice Program at the school. (Several months ago it was decided this particular curriculum would be folded into another program.) Leave it to Adam to choose a study program that no one else (outside of his 9 classmates) will ever be able to take!

And while we’re at it, here’s Adam as that adorable 7 lb. 10 1/2 oz. baby boy:

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