L came home yesterday with a special buddy. He decided he wanted to do a little sewing (again, I question if we are biologically connected as needle/thread aren’t part of my skill set or my vocabulary).
Directions for making “Pocket Penguin” (as told to me by L):
“First, you take a piece of black felt and you fold it in half
And cut out a shape that looks like an egg and
stitch around the sides but leave a little hole at the bottom
For stuffing him only you may not find real stuffing, so you can use
whatever is lying around that’s pretty soft and then
sew him shut and cut out the rest of the pieces and sew them on
And make sure you make his flippers big enough
Because otherwise they’ll come off, and you’ll spend a lot of time
Trying to find them, like I did, and then you’ll give up,
And need to start over, but that’s okay, because sometimes
It’s best to just start over, but keep going, don’t give up,
and sew on some buttons for eyes and then put him
In your pocket and he’s a forever buddy.”
Dad is out of town, traveling for work. L and I swing by a local pizza joint for a to-go pie. We look up and there he is…
The Great and Powerful Oz. No, not the guy behind the curtain. The one who has a television show which, up until yesterday, I’d never seen.
The subtitles are flying by, (phonetically spelled, always a plus for a kid), and suddenly we realize this Great and Powerful Oz is talking about the dangers of eating (too much) red meat, the alarming rate of salmonella in poultry, not over-indulging in calcium…
Animated visuals are showing platelets zipping through the bloodstream like pinballs, an ominous buildup of plaque. Ultimately, we see a heart cease to beat (in cartoon, natch).
L: “Ack! I don’t think I’m going to eat red meat anymore. I barely do anyway.”
L: “Is hamburger considered red meat?”
L: “What did it say about turkey?”
L: “So milk is bad? Should I stop taking my vitamins?”
I do what any good, responsible parent would: I pull out my iPhone and command him to play.
L has been thrown off the scent.
All I can think is “The Exorcist” might have been less traumatic.
L and I are listening to the radio. “Same Love” cues up. I’m awed and amazed by this song. We’ve discussed being gay before. L asks again, “what does it mean to be gay?” I’m ready to launch into a long, sensitive tutorial on the subject. I’m interrupted at word three.
L: “Okay, so it’s like if two girls or two boys like each other. Like, LIKE each other. Love each other.”
“And then they get married.”
“So, basically everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and feelings. Got it.”
Epiphany! I’ve come up with a television show that will be spot on for L. The O.G. “Star Trek.” Campy, science-y, funny, action-y, and most importantly, no blood.
I begin describing when it was made (“Did they even have television back then?”), and that it’s an awesome, cool show that I think he’ll like. I zero in on “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode because it’s… well, of course, it’s my favorite. Cute, furry little creatures (they could be easily itty bitty wee ponies, little girl crack).
We start watching a 10 minute segment and L says, “This is silly. This is not anything like the new one. The special effects are lame.”
I am bereft.
Cue to later in the afternoon. I pick L up from school. He has a drawing in his hand.
WHAT? CAN IT BE? YES! (Fist pump.)
The drawing is a schematic rendering of a Tribble, their size, the sounds they make, “fun facts.” I’m elated. (And, I forgive his spelling errors.)
We get home and he says, “say, can we watch the whole episode? I realize something. I think the old Star Trek is cooler than the new one. Because you get to see people’s expressions and Spock is awesome and really smart.”
I have done my job.
L: “If I were still a baby and I had one wish, I would want to be able to speak.”
Walking L to school. He’s holding my hand (swoon) and recounting every detail of his week, from his new “secret move” at tennis to how he can pound the ball in Four Square like a high five…
L: “Mom, I really like walking to school with you. It’s great, just catchin’ up.”
L: “Mom, I love you.” (Long, plaintive stare. He’s practicing his come hither look.)
M: I’ll bet you say that to all the girls.
L: “No, that’s gross. I don’t say that to all of the girls. I’ve never said that to any other girl. Because if I said it to all the girls, I’d be sorta skeevy and everyone would think I was trying to get attention and I’m not. Besides if I said that to everyone, all the time, I don’t think it would mean as much. In fact, it might not mean anything if I said it to everyone.”
M: I love you, too.