This morning Little B showed me a scrape on his knee from yesterday. It was pretty bad, and clearly he had bled at some point.
Little B speaks so precisely and with such detail that when he tells you something, you can take it straight to the bank. If you pay attention to his stories, and then listen closely for his reflections on the events he has just laid out for you, you get a front row seat at a picture window into his mind that will leave you wanting more. Example: The other night he asked Zohrhubby what we were having for supper. “Rice and gravy and corn.” “I don’t want any meat. And I don’t like rice. And do NOT put any corn on my plate…” he responded. Zohrhubby told him that he had to eat his meat, and that he would be fixing his plate and he fully expected him to eat everything on it if he wanted a treat after supper. “But Daaaaad! I don’t want that! I just want a sandwich. Can I please just have a sandwich? I want a lettuce and mustard sandwich…please!” (He sometimes spends a whole week on a “I’m not eating meat anymore” kick. But then, he gets over it.) “No, B, you are eating what we are all eating.” “Well, we can all have a sandwich!” “No.” About thirty minutes later, when we were all at the dinner table, and B was begrudgingly eating his rice and gravy and corn, thank you very much, B asked for all of our attention to listen to what he had to say. The whole family knows what this means, shut right the hell up and listen. And don’t interrupt, either.
“Okay, guess what? I have another friend at school, not the one I told you about before, a new kid. His name is Brendon. And guess what? His whole family died.” A collective gasp came from all of us, even Big E. “Oh my goodness, B…what happened?” “I don’t know, but listen. He’s all alone now. His mom died and his dad died, and his brothers and sisters…well, they all died.” We didn’t know what to say. Was this true? Surely he didn’t make it up, but maybe this Brendon kid did, right? Maybe. “And he’s the last one left in his whole family. And he’s alone.” We were all immediately sad. We thought that B was relating how sad he realized it must be for this kid to be without his family, living with either relatives or a foster home or whatever all this meant. He kept stressing the word “alone” with such force that we all just knew that he must have been fearful about this having been forced to think about such a thing. Then, before we could ask anymore questions, he added, “But, it’s okay. He’s happy. Now he gets to do whatever he wants.” Laughter exploded at the table. We couldn’t BELIEVE he said that. And he smiled while he said it, too. Then, when it couldn’t have been any funnier, he added, “Like, if he gets hungry, he just fixes himself a sandwich.”
Wow. That’s what he was trying to tell us. If all of you guys were dead, or gone, and I was alone, then I could just do whatever the hell I wanted to do. It’d be great. In his mind, when this kid told him that his family died, and he was all alone, that meant that Brendon came home to his now empty house and just did whatever he wanted. Bath? I don’t think so. TV? Sure, why not? Dinner? How about a lettuce and mustard sandwich?!
I am still laughing inside at this conversation. He kills me. He really does.
Anyway, this morning, he began to tell me the details of his knee injury. He told me that he was running, which was okay because it was PE and he was running his laps, he wasn’t doing horseplay, he wanted to make that clear, and then he fell and scraped his knee. And it was an “emergency” and so he had to go to the office. I stopped him there, “An emergency?” “Yes. There are six emergencies at my school, mom, and they are… Fire, Flood, Blood, Sick, Throwing up, and Danger.” And when he said ‘danger’ his eyes got wide and his tone and inflection changed completely. “Wow, B. Can you tell me those again?” “Yes: Fire, Flood, Blood, Sick, Throwing Up, and Danger. So, I was bleeding, and so it was an emergency, and I had to go to the office and get a big bandage for my knee. And now it’s fine.”
I love him so much. I can’t even imagine life without him. Apparently, though I know he loves me too, he can CERTAINLY imagine life without me. It’d be filled with late night sweet binges, no bath times, and all the lettuce and mustard sandwiches he could conjure. 🙂