Five Atypical Firsts I’ve Enjoyed In My Son’s Life

My son Liam turned 20 months old a couple of weeks ago and is just now learning to walk. Like any first time parents we have found great joy by his progress in every area, from birth until now. And no doubt major milestones–the “firsts” so to speak–are worth talking about. Yet today I want to go beyond the obvious first steps or first words. Instead I want to talk about the unique things he has done that have made us smile and laugh.

The First Time He Tried to Make Me Laugh

Liam has made us laugh hundreds of times but until recently it was just by being a normal, mischievous 1-year old. About a month ago, however, he clearly started making an effort to be funny. I recall the first time he shook his head from side to side in a silly way. I laughed. Then, a little while later, we were singing the Zacchaeus song and when he did the finger point “You come down!” part, I laughed again. Immediately, he started shaking his head side to side in a silly way again, recognizing that this also made me laugh earlier. He made the connection and decided that he enjoyed the attention of being the comedian.

The First Time He Faked Me Out

When Liam was just a few months old, one of our favorite games to play was “Liam throws the ball, Daddy goes to get it”. I was basically like a dog playing fetch, but Liam loved it. Well, one time while we were playing, Liam extended the ball towards me, inviting me just to take it from him. I thought “Oh, I get a break. This’ll be easy.” And as I reached out to take it he withdrew it, changed hands and flung the ball in the other direction. Rascal! Not all firsts are about pride as much as education.

The First Time He Wanted to Play “Is My Face Too Close To Your Face”?

When Liam was approaching a year old we were playing on the floor. And for whatever reason I put my face super close to his, invading his personal space. And I asked “Is my face too close to your face?” over and over, trying to make him laugh. The next day we were playing on the floor again and he put his face right next to mine and smiled. I knew exactly what he was doing. So I asked, “Is my face too close to your face?” And he giggled. We played it often over the next few months. We still play this game every once in a while. So far Liam is undefeated.

Playing “Is My Face Too Close To Your Face?” in South Carolina at Christmas

The First Time He Knew What the Next Word In A Book Was

Even though Liam had been behind on pulling up, standing, and walking, we were encouraged that he has seemed fine cognitively. One instance that flooded my heart with joy was a few weeks ago when we were reading “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O”. Granted we had read this book about 100 times. But at one point one of the Missing Piece’s potential suitors is too delicate. So when it touches the Missing Piece, it goes “Pop!”. Before I turned the page to that line, Liam said it. I was stunned. I’ll never forget it.

The First Time He Reacted To A Crowd Cheering For Him

This is my favorite of all the firsts. Before he pulled up or took a first step, Liam conquered the mountain of the steps in my church’s sanctuary that lead to the stage. It was just a few weeks ago, right before our Sunday evening service. Kayla was at a Women Active for Christ meeting. So I was at the church with Liam alone. He had always scooted (because he’s never actually crawled) to the stage and then asked me to lift him up. No matter how much we tried to encourage him to climb, he whined and seemed resigned to not being able to.

On this night without hesitation he bounded right up to those two steps and, with a couple of minor hiccups, went right up. Again, I was stunned. I didn’t have a chance to show Kayla before the service so we gathered everyone in attendance after the service and watched him do it. Naturally, everyone applauded and cheered. The look on his face of shock mixed with pure, unadulterated joy is one I will have in my mind’s eye forever. He immediately began clapping too. And I can truthfully say it was my proudest moment of his life.

Every Step is So Significant

So Liam isn’t even two yet. But we can testify how much delight, hilarity and meaning children bring. And we welcome your stories as well. Not just of atypical firsts, but any joyful memory you have of your children. Feel free to share below.

Gowdy Cannon

Gowdy Cannon

I am currently the pastor of Bear Point FWB Church in Sesser, IL. I previously served for 17 years as the associate bilingual pastor at Northwest Community Church in Chicago. My wife, Kayla, and I have been married over 8 years and have a 4-year-old son, Liam Erasmus, and a baby, Bo Tyndale. I have been a student at Welch College in Nashville and at Moody Theological Seminary in Chicago. I love The USC (the real one in SC, not the other one in CA), Seinfeld, John 3:30, Chick-fil-A, Dumb and Dumber, the book of Job, preaching and teaching, and arguing about sports.

One thought on “Five Atypical Firsts I’ve Enjoyed In My Son’s Life

  • October 2, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    “Precious memories…how they ever flood my soul.”


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