His father’s violent sneeze once startled Pablo Zuvanich, who was so frightened by the sudden sound that he curled his lips into a frown and started sobbing.
That was only a few months ago, so his first Fourth of July figured to be fraught with anxiety for both him and his parents. Pablo had turned 6 months old only a few days before and had not yet encountered the sights and sounds of fireworks.
New Year’s Eve, the other popular occasion for pyrotechnics, was the day he was born. And he was sound asleep in a hospital room, along with his exhausted mom and dad, when the clock struck midnight.
There’s no way he sleeps through the show this time, his Momma and I thought, and we didn’t even try to make that happen. We had bought a few fireworks to blast ourselves – outside the city limits, of course – and planned to introduce them to Pablo from a safe distance.
When it was time to leave the house a little after dark last Saturday night, and we started to hear popping sounds every few seconds, guess what our little boy Pab was doing? He was out like a light, oblivious to it all.
We actually had to wake him up so we could go on our firework-popping expedition. And he remained unfazed while he and his Momma sat in the car and watched Dad set off a series of colorful explosives.
The only time he got upset was when I held him and Christine, his beautiful, caring, fun-loving mother, walked several yards away to light a Roman candle. Otherwise, the little guy behaved like a big, brave boy on his first Independence Day.
A cool, calm demeanor seems to be a personality trait of our precious young son, who smiles often and typically only cries when he’s really hungry. He tries to talk from time to time but also keeps quiet quite a bit, even when introduced to new, unfamiliar surroundings.
For example, on the night before the Fourth of July, we took Pablo to a drive-in movie. We popped open the back hatch and situated his carseat so he could see the big screen, which was showing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
He didn’t seem to mind the intermittent shooting sounds or the occasionally foreboding theme music. It looked like he was focused on the flick, following along when Han Solo reunited with Leia Organa, Kylo Ren tried to emulate Darth Vader and Rey emerged as a heroine.
Did I mention my son is smart, too?
There’s been a whirlwind of firsts as of late, to which I’m sure most parents can relate. Pablo recently figured out how to roll over – bye-bye bassinet and swaddle – and he’s eating more and more solid foods. He loves apples, carrots and sweet potatoes.
He likes the water as well, having enjoyed some pool time with his parents on a few occasions. And he’s becoming more and more coordinated with his hands and feet, taking steps each day toward learning how to crawl.
His Momma and I feel lucky to have such a cool kid, and I’ve been especially grateful to spend so much time with him during his first several months. One good thing about this terrible pandemic, I suppose, is that I’ve been able to be at home more often and watch the little guy grow.
He’s growing fast, and the days seem to be zipping by just as quickly. First it was his first Valentine’s Day, then his first Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, followed by his first Fourth of July.
Before we know it, Pab will be celebrating his first Halloween, first Thanksgiving and first Christmas. Then comes his first birthday, which will technically be his second New Year’s Eve.
I’m glad to know he won’t be bothered by any fireworks displays. He might even sleep through them.
As for his dad’s sneezes, he seems to have gotten used to those, too. For that I’m especially grateful.