The Ballad Of Hank The Tank, Part 1

Henry Bielanko / 'Hank The Tank'

Henry is one and change now and he pretty much lets you know that every few minutes, with stunts and stuff.

It’s kind of beautiful, his recklessness.

He has no real concept of pain coming down the pike. He only recognizes that address when he’s parked right out front. This makes for some good times around here. And some crying too.

The other day we were all out in the grass, digging in the dirt to plant some flowers, when Monica and I looked over at him. He had his head down in the overgrown green and he was arching his back so that he could get a foothold on the Earth.

WTF?, we said to each other.

This was a new one.

What was his plan here? Did he even have one?

He teetered like that for a second, like a suspension bride hung out over some windy bay. Then he began to move, like a mole or a shrew. Like the groundhog in Caddyshack. His squat legs started pumping furiously, propelling him forward, and pretty soon he was on his way. Our jaws hit the dirt. We’d never seen anything like it before.

Not with our kids, or anyone’s for that matter.

He obviously couldn’t see a thing since his eyes were facing back towards his knees. And since he was a locomotive without a conductor, it crossed my mind that, as far as safety was concerned, the lad was relying on nothing but the fact that this new-found way of getting around sure felt good to him. He mole-crawled his way across a  good thirty feet of lawn before he paused for a second.

I figured that was it then.

Monica was in hysterics and I was trying my hardest not to waltz over to him and grab him up in my arms and tell him that he had made me very proud for being….ya know, half-gopher.

But instead of stopping,  his little butt shifted around in another direction, and then another one altogether, until he’d finally decided upon his new route. And with that, his short kickers started thrusting him again.

Eyes down.

No idea of what might be laying on the tracks up a ways.

Just a full head of steam and the beautiful feeling you get when you just know you’re onto something awesome.


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More from Serge:

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Article Posted 4 years Ago
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