Friday, July 15, 2011

A Fly in My Hair, Les Paul, and the Fall of Constantinople: Midsummer Musings by an 11-year-old

Our younger son, now a few months shy of 12, was born after 20 minutes of hard, unmedicated labor, with Pitocin rushing through me and no time for an epidural. I was swearing like the world's worst sailor. He came out so fast that for the first few days his head was purple and the rest of his body looked like he'd spent too much time at the beach without sunscreen. (In fact, our then-three-year-old asked me 'Why isn't the baby's skin white like ours?")

Anywho, it felt like he just couldn't wait to be born, to start tasting everything this great world has to offer. He never crawled. He walked at nine months, and by the time he had his first birthday was running so fast I could not catch up to him. Irrepressible. Ebullient. That's this boy.

Sometimes, I feel like he got the wrong mom. How did he end up in a family of mulling introverts? Then again, maybe God put him in our lives to teach us what unmitigated joy looks like.

My love for him knows no bound. Sometimes I can't keep up with the energy. I do like to talk, but I need big swatches of silence and solitude. What follows is a transcript I took of his comments to me over lunch in our kitchen. It was either type away, or fly off the handle.

Here goes. I don't guarantee the order of these remarks; I just kept typing. All I did to start the conversation by saying over our steak and eggs lunch: "Guess what I am going to say?"

"That you love me." he answered. 
I nodded. 
"Now, guess what I am going to say?" 
"I don't know. What?" 
"Mom, there is a fly in your hair." And so it went, through lunch and into the family room and onto the sofa, where he cuddled with the puppy.
"If Adam and Eve both had brown and red hair, how was there genetic material to create blond hair?" 
"Did you know the Les Paul guitar was designed in New Jersey and that in Newark, it's illegal to buy ice cream after six o'clock unless you have a doctor's note?
From a street vendor."
"One thousand five hundred years ago, St. Patrick started 
converting Irish men and women to Catholicism."

"Did you know New Jersey was one of the seven colonies that initially said No to the proposal of a revolution? 

I got this from the movie 1776 and that John Adams documentary."

"Did you know the answer to which came first, the chicken or the egg can be found in the Bible? Since God created all things at once, he created chickens first."

"What was the last city held by the Roman Empire? Constantinople. But I bet you didn't know that."

‎"Did you know that New Jersey native Frank Sinatra was originally cast to play Dirty Harry in the movie Dirty Harry starring Clint Eastwood but he broke a finger two weeks before shooting? "
"Can I go on the computer now?"


  1. I'm just sitting here, smiling. Thanks.

  2. I can totally see my son Liam turning out like this!
    Question: Did your son ever have trouble learning how to read?
    My MIL says ALL THE TIME that babies should crawl first before they walk or they will have trouble learning to read.
    I don't think this true. but I have heard it before she said it a million times.

  3. He is dyslexic, Sarah. I wrote a post about that a bit ago - I think in the "Sassy Comment" post I detail his immense struggle both to speak and to read.

    I was told to get on the floor and show him how to crawl or else he wouldn't be good at math. My family doctor told me this. I tried boy did I try. he looked at me like I had two heads and the boy is a flipping math superstar. Seriously.

  4. One of my brothers (the youngest) was and is notorious for being the Master of the Facts. A regular feature of his birthday presents is an obscure almanac.

  5. @Shannon: Love the title. Our youngest son, then, fits in well with his brother and father. All this data gathering feels more like a masculine than feminine trait, at least here!

  6. Ohmigosh! I have a son just like this! My youngest - now 14. My husband couldn't finish filling out the paperwork before he made his appearance. He was red like a little hotdog. He h.a.t.e.d to read in his earlier years, and though he was never tested, I am nearly positive that he has dyslexic tendencies. He was, however, perfectly willing to read almanacs. And now, with an iPod, there seems to be a random fact app, and you better believe he has it! He is a lot like my husband, and I am the introvert. Prayers, sister!

  7. Lol. I teach kids like this.

    Which is somewhat difficult trying to coral their thoughts when you are trying to teach them how to read.

    Love this post. :)

    Vikki @ She Has Cute Shoes

  8. Oh, if they met, a portion of the universe would certainly explode of excess awesomeness.

    "I'm designing vegetables that you dress up. The jalapeno will wear a salsa dancing outfit...OF COURSE!"

  9. Dwija:

    OMG your daughter. So funny. I love that line "I know, right?!?!?"

    I still am trying to figure out that cookED joke.