at our neighborhood potluck tonight, checking out Aunt Marie’s chicks
This afternoon, as we were returning from soccer, Henry sort of flipped out about something, what exactly I cannot be sure.
“It’s Charlie,” he wailed, “he’s mocking me in silence!”
Lawdy he was distraught. Later he explained exactly what he meant, how Charlie was making a face — without any sound! — while he, Henry, had sound coming out of his own mouth (to which all of us in the van could testify). And God bless this kid, because here he was getting toted to this game before heading out to another event shortly after. And we had on our calendar another soccer game tonight, after all of that, to which I finally said to Paul “enough.” The littles have fun at all these events but then we pay the price. Silent mockery, Exhibit A.
When we got home from the game, we had just enough time for Henry and Isabel to bathe (I’m totally bringing them to our potluck in pajamas because Mama gonna be tossing them babies in the bed when we get home) and I told Henry he could play on the ipad for a few minutes before we leave, but after the tub.
He proceeded to take the ipad and hide it under the recliner — brilliant! — before heading off for a quick dunk. What kind of world do you live in, six-year-old child, where you’ve already learned to guard so fiercely? And the recliner is perfection because no one ever looks under there, even when vacuuming it seems, per all the tidbits of stuff that sidled up to the ipad upon its arrival.
But Henry and hiding? I’ll tell you where he learned it. Augie. Augie is one smart kid. I noticed a while back that he always managed to procure for his lunch The Snack (the one everyone might currently be raving about) and somehow he would have one for himself a day or two after the official stash ran out. I finally discovered that he would always tuck one away deep in the recesses of the pantry to enjoy later, when all the rest was gone. I caught him one day hiding his future treat, carefully tucking it against his wrist and burrowing it inside the plastic bin filled with random bags of rice.
We headed out to the potluck, children bathed and ready for bed, and they had a blast. We spent time meeting new chicks and when we got in the van to go home, Henry told me he would like to move in with our friends who live there. “I wonder if they would rent me a room,” he asked, “and then when it’s time to clip the chicken’s wings I would be here to help.” My friend Marie had mentioned they always do this at night, and Henry knew it was important to be as close by as possible in order to lend his aid. Actually living in the home would be his best bet.
What a strange and wonderful world these children inhabit. Hard at times, they often get no respect. But then again, yes they do. Henry wants someone to build legos with him and a seasoned veteran arrives on the scene. He is being coached in backyard baseball by adoring older brothers (when they are not mocking him in silence) and last night we had a family wiffle ball game where the highs were high and the lows were low (teenage emotions = not for wimps). It is never a dull moment and as my mom recently pointed out, Henry’s life is one giant party. All of the time.
Which is all to say, I think he’s gonna be okay. Oh sure while he was enjoying his Bible coloring book during Holy Thursday services Henry mistook Samson for Davy Crocket (and wanted to know what Davy was doing trying to push down those giant pillars?), but these things happen. We’ll get to that. The important thing is, it was a man of virtue. We can go into Biblical characters vs. American history in the very near future.
And anyway, it was all quickly overshadowed by sister Isabel, seated next to him. That evening at Holy Thursday, every time our priest quoted the Holy Father during his homily, she turned to me with delight. “Pope Fancy!” she declared with glee, “He is talking about Pope Fancy!”