My nine-year-old is unusual.
He does get up to things. He has a force field when he needs one. Look right at you and betrays no emotion if he feels like it. He goes and finds things. He makes things and I don’t know how he did it. I ask him how he did it, and … oops — force field. He’ll offer explanations of very complex behaviors as things like,”I just thought of it in my mind.” Oh.
I’m trying to work all the time, and so he is mostly like an asteroid that whizzes by. He’s my Van Allen Belt and suspenders. I hear his beeping, Dopplering past me. When I capture him and question him closely about anything, it’s always worth the effort.
There was music coming out of the dining room this morning. It’s the only warm room in the house in a shoulder season morning. He sits at a little desk and constructs universes with Minecraft and eats a muffin his mom made him. He’s fashioned a little soundtrack for himself that plays along in the background. I think it’s Spotify, but what the hell do I know? I found it amusing to hear Dave Brubeck come out of there, then The Mayor of Simpleton, of all things. Then something funky and greazy and infectious and sophisticated and adult and borderline decadent came percolating out of there. Jayzuz, son, what are you up to in there?
-What is that music you’re listening to?
-It’s the Italian Secret Service.
-Who told you about the Italian Secret Service?
-I was just looking around and it sounded kinda snazzy, so I saved it.
-Did you just say it sounded “snazzy”?
-Yes. Do you want to watch the fireworks display I put in my Minecraft build?
-No. I mean, yes. I mean, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I mean, sure. Where did you learn the word “snazzy?”
-I was just looking around…