L: “Mom, do you love your bike?”
M: “Yeah, it’s okay.”
L: “When I ride, I feel like I’m one with my bike. I feel like the wind.”
I documented L’s last evening as a seven year old. I took treats to his class the next day. His school has a great tradition of asking if anyone would like to share something they appreciate about the birthday kid. Some of the responses:
“L is a great friend and is always by my side when I need him.”
“L is my best friend.”
“If anyone ever needs any help, L’s there.”
“L is really, really funny.”
“I love how creative he is. He’s helping me learn to draw.”
“L taught me more than I ever knew about gas masks.” (Said by his teacher.)
For a seriously articulate kid, one who knows the definitions and/or history of:
….and of course, Zombie
It’s so utterly heartbreaking to have him reach the end of his rope, end of the day, still not able to say “I’m tired” and describe a series of mishaps as:
“I’m so sad. I had a great day. And now I’m really struggling with the last part of my day.”
And he bursts into tears.
These are the moments when I’d give anything, everything to trade places. To have him know that this is a moment that will pass, that there will be many moments like this one.
As if I would have heard any of that when I was seven and just having a rough couple of hours.
“Mom, it’s time to take a deep breath.”
So this is why I started writing about L. For almost eight years, I’ve shared things he’s said with other people and they’ve all said, “whoa, he’s… deeeeep.” The other day, he said he very much needed a gas mask. I explained why that wouldn’t be necessary, save them for people who need them. He said, “but, mom, you really can never be too prepared.”
I fret. I tell my bestie about it. Her response: “I’m going to build a safe room.”
Me: “Don’t you think it’s odd?”
Her: “I think he knows something we don’t.”
I stockpile canned goods.
Finally getting to this. It’s been on my to-do list for 7 years, 11 months and 12 days. I’m not big into the whole “time flies” thing. But it does manage to sneak by if you’re not keeping track.
L was born talking. I’m not saying he was speaking in iambic pentameter, but the fellow was babbling. As in, “baaa baaa baaa.” The slap on the behind followed by a yowl did not happen.