30 June 2011

peacocks, no electricity, & dragon logging

T: Mama, rare means not often, not usually, right?
S: Yeah, pretty much. Something rare would be something hardly seen, not common at all.
T: Like a peacock, I would think. Or like animals escaping from a zoo - that's pretty rare. Or like... Mama, the thing with humans on the earth is that we make a lot of bad choices.
S: Oh?
T: We use so many animals and so many plants and water and things, and we take something all good -that would be the earth - and make it about 3/4 good. And then we take the 3/4 and make it, say, half good. And then after that, things get rare. Like gorillas. Like polar bears. Like people with totally no electricity. Like peacocks.
S: I don't know if peacocks are rare, but yes, humans have used a lot of the earth and not always made good choices about how and what we use. But, we can do a lot, even just us, to make good choices. And we can take the best care that we know how to of the tiny piece of earth that we live on.
T: Yes, like we could choose to live with totally no electricity.
S: Ummm, well I was thinking more like make fewer trips into the village and so use the car less, and be smart about how we garden, what we eat and where our food comes from, use less water.
T: And don't cut trees down in our woods. Mowing the grass is still fine. And cutting back the salal is fine, because otherwise it would cover all of the paths. But no cutting trees. Well, except the ones that I've been noticing hints of dragon wings knocking down.

29 June 2011


As my mother mentioned (in the kindest of ways), I'm in the helicopter parenting stage. I hover, and it is the greatest challenge right now for me not to. Because T is the opposite of hovering. He is everywhere all at once. He is spreading out, out, out beyond anything I consider. And he is doing it "just fine, Mama, on my own."

This morning, the rain is coming down. I sip tea, pull on a sweater, fold laundry, and think of dragon stories, map activities, and egyptian indoor fun so that our day is not stunted by this "summer" weather. T provides a soundtrack of "dippty dippty dippty dooooooo! Woo woo woo woo. Ugha ugha bidop bidop. Oh! I'll go outside to play fetch with Tess, Tess, Tess! Are you my good girl? Yes, yes, yes, you are! Mama, can I do fetch? Bah bah bah, birdip birdip birdipty doo...."

I force a rain jacket and socks and shoes instead of flip-flops upon him, and then he is outside. His sounds are outside. And he is doing it just fine, on his own. And I'm here, in the quiet that remains behind, watching, listening. A helicopter idle.

20 June 2011

to egypt via dragon

T: Now that it's FINALLY summer break, can we learn about Ancient Egypt? When we aren't doing "wreck this journal," or playing outside, or when I'm not building, or reading hardy boys, or playing with friends, or all the other fun things, like swim class this week.

And so, T prepares for the journey. Packs his backpack with necessary travel supplies: books, binoculars, sketchpad, notepad, pencils & erasers, and of course a magic wand. Then we catch a ride on a friendly dragon, travel 16 hours, and arrive in Cairo in the morning.
Read, sketch, and search... T announces, "I'm going to focus on solving the mystery of Osiris' tomb and of the Rosetta stone, since we have that book." But, first, he scans the River Nile... 

14 June 2011

mad aspirations

T: If I'm not an editor like Papa or a chef or a furniture carpenter or someone who plans how to make different vehicles or something like that, I'll probably be a mad scientist.
S: Oh no! My son would be maaaaad!
T: Insaaaaaaannne!! (pause) But, actually, I really might be a scientist with my own lab that I plan and build, with computers to check on all the equipment. And I'd have assistants - also scientists, I bet, but they would be in my lab so they'd have to follow my safety rules. And I would invent things, but I promise I will never test my inventions out on people.
S: How would you test your inventions?
T: Mmmm, probably on mailboxes.

So, watch out, unsuspecting mailboxes...

13 June 2011

pronoun invasion

T: Since I believe that God is both male and female, it's hard to know what word to use. God means male, and Goddess means female, and there's she and he. But 'they' doesn't work because I'm only talking about one god.
S: It's true that we don't have a word that is both male and female in the English language for this kind of situation.
T: Yeah, we need a new pronoun.
S: That would sure make things easier, but, hmmmm, how to come up with a new pronoun....
T: And how would we get the entire country to agree to add a new pronoun?
S: Yeah, how WOULD we do that?
T: Well, the first step would be pretty easy - family. I think our family would be willing to help. So if we got our family to agree to a new pronoun, the next step would be our friends and their families. Then all of their friends. But once we get past people we know, I think it would be rude to ask strangers to use a new word we made up.
S: Maybe we'd have to use larger ways to communicate - to get the new pronoun idea out there.
T: Oh! We could have Papa make a piece of paper about it, and then we could put up copies on all the bulletin boards on Lopez. And then maybe on your facebook thing you do. And maybe we could get our friend, Josh, to announce it on his radio show. And I could ask to talk to the school about it.

So, watch out, because there may be a pronoun invasion in the near, or distant, future. T has yet to come up with said new pronoun, but stay tuned...

09 June 2011

bringin' the recess on home

T: Sometimes two-square and four-square have not enough rules or too many rules for me, so I just don't play.
S: Is that because one group of kids might make more or fewer rules than another?
T: No, the rules are the same, but it all just depends on how I feel about two-square or four-square at the exact moment of that exact time.
S: So what do you play at recess when you decide it's too many or not enough rules for those games?
T: Pretty much everything. You know, swings, climbing, tag, chase, hunting for bigfoot... though I'm done with that one. Because after all year of not finding bigfoot, and, so, coming up with great trap ideas that we never got to use, we had to give up. But, then, we also didn't have the money to buy all the things we needed for our traps.
S: What kind of things would you need to buy?
T: Cages and ropes that can hold cages. (pause) Recess is a lot of fun, but I can run around inside, outside, play ball, and, you know, look for clues and search for all kinds of creatures from my treehouse, at home.

06 June 2011

heavy light

Sometimes, when my son talks to me, he brings me along with his heavy then light stream of thoughts in a way that winds me nearly literally. Sometimes, it makes me grin so broadly that he and I match. Sometimes, it makes me stifle tears ready to slip.

T quotes du jour:
"What will it feel like to be dead? If I don't have my body, how will my spirit understand HOW to feel? Maybe it will be pretty funny... like, ummm, hello, I have no body. So, no, I will not be doing any work."

"So when you and Papa had me, I know that, because you're a woman, you got to have me in your belly. But why can't men have babies in their bellies? We all have bellies. (insert attempt at appropriate parental response) Oh, so it's the egg thing? And that word for women's bellies - uter... what? (pause) Was Papa sad that he couldn't have me in his belly? But, that would not be good for being born. It's not like a baby can squeeze out of a penis!"

"Do you think I'll ever be poor? (insert attempt at appropriate parental response) I just wonder because a lot of people don't have money for a house, food, and stuff. But, good thing is, I save my allowance. And try not to just buy junky stuff. Like that race car thing that was NOT what the picture on the package made it look like."

"Look at this book, Mama; it shows you right here how to build a treehouse that people live in. See, you just do this step and the next one and keep going. So, if we ever decide to live in the trees, I can build us a house. (pause) I think you should buy yourself a saw that you can use better than the one you used for when I built that table."

"Cancer is the worst sickness ever. I know people who have died from cancer. Like Papa's friend, Gabe. And I never even got to meet him. And Papa says that he's one of the nicest people he's ever known. And like Jaylie's mom. I think cancer is almost as horrible as war."

Round and round, the thoughts of a young child go. Ever curious, ever in balance. Ever heavy and light.