Monday, June 9, 2014

The language of the boy

He wanted to give the flowers to his sister after her dance recital

The boy's language is a more mysterious one than the girls'. He uses fewer words and more body gestures. His enunciation is still in development. His body language, though, is unamibiguous, and where words fail him or he can't be bothered, he has his body-slamming hugs and his body-slamming tantrums. He is a boyishy, boyishy boy.

I have been encouraging his expressive language, and where the girls have no hesitation at spilling their hearts' daily catalogs of experience, he is just realizing the application of words to these outbursts. He says now, Mommy, can I tell something? And wanting to set a lifetime's expectation, I answer always, "you can tell me anything." And he now says:

I have a feeling.

He doesn't mean it the way you or I would say it, that you have a sense that {dot dot dot}. He means he has one. He's found inside himself a feeling, and he'd like to discuss it. Or if it's come and gone, he says, I got a feeling. He's adopted the girls' language, too, for asking for private conversation, and he asks for a meeting in my office. We curl up in my bed and in the safety of a snuggle, a warm cocoon that necessitates no eye contact, he tells me about his feeling. And having expunged the feeling through the power of words, he usually concludes the meeting by jumping on the bed.

He has a poem, lately. I don't know where he learned the word 'poem' or the concept but he uses it with conviction. He says, it's time for me to do my poem.

And then it has no words, but it's melodic, mediatitive, inarguably poetic. He stands solemnly, holds his palms up and facing each other, and slowly moves one arm up and the other down, reverse, down and up. He's conducting energy, air currents, ions and butterfly effects and magnetism tweaking our orbit around his attention. And when he's done he brings his palms back to center and smiles slowly. You hear the unspoken namaste in his serenity and command for your gaze. And he smiles and asks each time, did you like my poem?

And I did, every time, and I tell him so, even when I don't understand everything he's said. Because I love the way he says it.



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