John Y’s Musings from the Middle: My Dad

JYB Sr., JYB Jr. and JYB III circa 1972

JYB Sr., JYB Jr. and JYB III circa 1972

My favorite –and perhaps most emblematic—story about my father when he was a child.

When John Y Jr was about 16 months old or so, my father hadn’t quite taken to walking yet. He probably didn’t see the point when everyone around him seemed so willing to carry him everywhere he needed to go. But that’s beside the point.

His slow visual and motor development was beginning to distress my grandmother, so she and my grandfather took my 16 month old father to a psychologist to test his responsiveness, perception and ability to navigate his surroundings.

For the first test the doctor laid out a soft blue blanket and put the 16 month old John Y Jr at the center of the blanket. The doctor then placed an eye-catching and appealing shiny red ball on one of the blanket corners several feet away from my father to see if he would notice the ball and then crawl to it and retrieve it to play with.

jyb_musingsMy father, sitting in the middle of the blanket, eyed the bright red ball several feet away and reached down beside his little legs and grabbed a fistful of the blanket and started pulling the ball to toward him.

And then picked up the ball while never moving himself and began playing with it.

The doctor sent my grandparents home and told them not to worry; their son was fine.


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