The little boy has a crush on a girl in his summer school class.
He walked up behind her this morning and tried a sly one-armed hug. It sort of worked. She didn’t hug back, but she looked at him sweetly and didn’t seem to mind his very forward gesture. He didn’t notice her response.
A few days ago, my son’s aide told me that he is the class clown. He loves funny sounds and music and goofy toys and he likes to laugh, so I guess the other kids watch him sometimes.
He is always recognized by his schoolmates when we’re out and about. Even the kids who are older and have never been in a class with him will point him out to their moms and say “hi” as we walk by in the grocery store or at the mall.
My kid is kind of a rock star.
At the park, the other children are always fascinated when he doesn’t respond or even seem to understand that they are talking to him. He has the best sand toy collection, so they are very motivated to figure him out. They ask me a ton of questions.
My son takes in a lot of his surroundings, maybe even more than most kids, but he doesn’t quite know how to read facial expressions or body language. He typically just stares when another kid talks to him.
People amuse, entertain, and befuddle my son. He likes their oddness and their quirky mannerisms, but he doesn’t always know what to make of their efforts to communicate. Or my efforts to communicate, for that matter.
Today, we went to the store after his swim lesson. I bought him a big bag of Ruffles, his current favorite snack. As we drove home, I extended my open hand toward him in the backseat. Without a word from either of us, he placed a chip in my hand. I said “thank you” and reached back twice more before we turned onto our street. He gave me a new chip each time.
I really didn’t consider the miracle of that until I pulled into the garage. He could have put anything, or nothing, in my hand. He could have kicked my hand, like he has done before. Or he could have become agitated and yelled “no Mama’s hand go backwards!” He has done that before too. 😦
Instead, he did what any ordinary person would do. He read my body language. He understood my gesture and complied with my silent request. Ordinary? Extraordinary.
The chip experience reminds me of this post from Into The Woods, Living Deliberately.
It’s the little things, you know?
P.S. We’re spending a lot of time at the popper fountains this summer. What are you up to?