Originally published Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 06:00a.m.

A Facebook memory video that recently forced itself onto my iPhone screen reminded me just how fast time flies when you’re a parent.

It was of my son A.J., who at the time was somewhere between 1 and 2 years old, waddling across the living room floor in his baggy red sweatpants and oversized sweat shirt.

About 10 seconds into the video, he grabbed the remote off the side table and before we could say “no,” he took several steps and threw it like a fastball straight at his very own strike zone called our television.

Crash!

Toddler-like laughter ensued.

The remote surprisingly didn’t break the television, but it left a nice big scratch on the screen. I chuckled, because, although at the time I was semi-worried about an expensive piece of technology, I also had to admire the kids arm.

A typical dad-like reaction, right?

Our son was a challenging toddler, because although he was like any other toddler, full of wonder and curiosity, “a little scientist” my wife used to say, A.J. was about a foot taller than most his age.

This meant he could not only reach anything on kitchen counter tops, but could scale baby gates without hesitation, hook a leg over his crib and crash onto the floor without a fuss and have no issue opening any door.

Yikes!

Basically, we had a panic attack every time he wasn’t in our sight. At least it felt like it.

We even tried baby proofing our house any way we could, but ended up just covering table corners with foam pads and hoped for the best.

A big smile comes across my face every time I see one of those videos, or we talk about his babyhood while viewing photos from a not-so-distant past.

Today though, our family celebrates A.J.’s seventh birthday. That’s right, seven years ago today, A.J. was born in a Cottonwood hospital at 4:59 p.m.

It’s amazing a parent remembers the exact time their children were born, isn’t it?

And now he’s in first grade, so instead of watching him hurl remotes into distant televisions, we spend our spare time helping him practice addition and subtraction problems, and review his spelling words nightly. His teachers have done such a great job, we are merely an extension of them.

Mix in a few recently-learned board games like “Battleship,” “Jenga,” “Connect 4,” and we keep busy. He’s also into a video game called “Minecraft?” Don’t ask me, I’m still hooked on Mario, a game we play together on that old television in his room.

And yes, it still has that scratch on it.

So happy birthday, A.J.! If you’re reading this, your mother and I love you very much. Now, go clean your room!

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is news/sports editor for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud at @TheEditorDesk. Email bbergner@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.