The number around the dinner table dwindled as the children excused themselves one by one. One child, however, was in no hurry to leave. He had things to talk about. Nothing in particular, but everything a possibility . . . . Jamie and I sat, entranced, as this eight-year-old boy talked, and talked and talked. It was as though he was transported to another realm, and we were invited to travel along and witness his stream of consciousness.
When Aidan falls into this mode, which is rather frequent, his blue eyes deepen and he actually gets that "faraway look" that you read about. He's not dreamy-whispy, though. His pulse quickens and his eyes widen. He enunciates slowly, then pauses and stares for dramatic emphasis -- not to bring attention to himself, but to let the importance of what he's just said sink in. He delivers his store of information then flows unceasingly from one thought to the next.
Sometimes I'm fast enough to jot down his conversations. I've even been known to say, "Slow down! Can you sat it again? I need to write this stuff down." He happily obliges.
This afternoon, as I visited with my grandma on the phone, she referred to that "faraway look" that Aidan gets and that way his mouth has of twisting when he's particularly enthusiastic about something. So I share here with her and with you some of the wide-eyed, twisty-mouthed gems that we've recently enjoyed:
*We've had a very wet spring (as Miss Kate recently grumbled, "I told you it was going to be a sad spring!") When the sun actually appears, the children are beside themselves with joy. The other day, I had Aidan check the temperature as part of his math assignment. He came back shouting, "If the temperature blobs up 30, it's gonna be 100!" And that was the end of the math lesson. There was no keeping this boy indoors on a rare sunny day.
Math is more fun in a blanket fort.
*Speaking of math, Aidan wanted to be in tip-top shape for a timed fact sheet. He came up with what he considered to be a helpful preparatory procedure: "If I do a headstand, it will get my brain all popped up!"
*One of the things I appreciate about Aidan is his cheerful disposition. He finds the good and camps there. Take, for instance his recent bout with the sniffles. He ran in from blowing his nose and happily said, "Listen to me smell, Mama!" (Heavy, sustained breathing inserted here.) "Just half a snort every breath!" Now that's what I call cheerful. Thankful that it's only half a snort when it jolly well coulda been a whole one.
*I received some good advice from Aidan yesterday. He was eagerly sharing with me his discoveries about the most venomous snakes and could I guess what they were and this is how Jeff Corwin holds a black mamba and so on. But the most important thing to remember is this: California Kingsnakes eat rattlesnakes. Because of this, "You better not dress up as a rattlesnake for Halloween and go on a search for the California Kingsnake." You've been warned. Don't do it.
*Today Aidan was on a stream of consciousness roll. The following was delivered without one pause: "Mom? Can I have a whole peanut butter and jelly sandwich? In triangles? 'Cause it's just like eating two pieces of pumpkin pie. Which I can do. When are we going to have pumpkin pie again? Guess what I'm going to have in a year for my birthday dessert?" I finally had a chance to speak: "Ummm, pumpkin pie?" Aidan smiled and confirmed, "You are right."
If you're ever in need of some entertainment, please stop by. Aidan will gladly converse with you on any and every topic. Just one warning: you might feel a bit out of breath when he's done sharing. Even if you haven't uttered one single syllable.