Saturday, February 9, 2013
"if thare was no sun it wold be darck"
It's either a quote from Chaucer or the clever title of Nick's story which I plan to run in its entirety in just a moment. There's an introduction.
The introduction - quite a while back I mentioned in a post called The Purplest (which, if you jump to you'll then need to check out Twoodles, just to keep things fair) a book called... listen just to make things quicker I'll just copy what I wrote then : There is a great children's book by Barbara M. Joosse titled I Love You the Purplest in which a mother tells one son she loves him the reddest when he asks who she loves the most, the other boy she tells she loves him the bluest. Together she loves them the purplest.
I seem to keep coming back to that, mostly, I guess, because when I first had kids I didn't yet understand how I would come to love them so intensely, devoutly, deeply and, well, differently. A couple days ago I made a little movie of a book Zack made at school. The book is so endearing and sweet and straightforward and honest and happy, all the things I love about him. This is not to say Nick doesn't possess these same lovable traits, it's just what I feel from Z.
N, on the other hand, is funny and wild and sensitive and contemplative and moody (sound familiar?), and I love those things about him. Again, Z shares these traits but I sense them so strongly in Nick.
That being said, it is a little easier to show the stuff Zack creates, lots of drawings and towers and straightforward LEGO vehicles. Nick is a little harder to pin down. To him a drawing is a story, ever evolving, growing, changing. It's hard to show that. A tower to him is not a finished goal; it's a prop, a castle, a dojo, a church, a doomed protective force-field destined to be destroyed by alien llamas. He doesn't make stuff out of LEGOs, he tells stories with them, improvising and using silly voices and inventing new characters from the seemingly endless supply of bodies and heads amassed over the years. Like this Village People flashmob he created the other night:
In two, or twelve or thirty-two years, whenever they might take a look at this memoir I am trying to keep for them, this digital scrap-book, I want them to understand the way I love them. It's easy to say you love someone; it's harder to look deeper and consider how and why you love someone.
Also, although there is no official scorecard, I think I post a little more about Z than I do N. (I asked my staff to crunch those numbers but, I don't have a staff.) As I said it's difficult to show how N is in a single image or drawing, it's like trying to explain an improvisation or chase the winter wind. It can be captured, maybe just a little, though, in the stories he writes, and there are many.
So, I hope you can stay a little longer and read something N wrote, a story:
applesos. Aloysius hade an cheesbugr with french frys. "Do french frys come from french"? asskt aloysius""I don't know. Said dad." lets ask the water (waiter)." "NO." I said. Bertram and Jeb had a handbugr with ham. "let's go home and play ball" Said Bertram. "Ok" We said. When we got home we went outside to play ball. After 1 ouar we went inside we bilt towere out of city blocks. We had so much fun. Then Jeb, Bertram and Aloysius had to go home. "Goodby" I said. then we sat down for dinner. We had butterd noodls and tomatos. After dinner thay wacht (washed) the dishes. Then thay wacht (watched) a movie that was coled the angry mob. it was a grat movie. Then he went to bed the next day Something grate hapend. The sun woke UP! "horay"! evreone in the nabarho-d (neighborhood) Yelled. What a grate time!!!!!!!
I only used my indispensable child-to-adult decoder rings on the most egregious of spelling errors on this and I may have changed a name or two, I refuse to include others in this nonsense.
Having just typed all that he wrote I got to thinking about it a little more and I noticed a few things. His writing style is conversational and casual; he has trouble with quotation marks for dialogue; and, he changed narrative, first-person voice to omniscient voice there at the end. All mistakes I make daily, honest. It is always weird to realize how much you and your child are alike in the strangest ways. If you checked out the post Twoodles, you'll remember that N and I even doodle alike and hurt alike and think alike.
I have a couple of other quick thoughts on this as well. Although I never remember saying it, "Get them while they're cold" is exactly the kind of lame-ass pun I would make. And, I think "a handbugr with ham" is a very clever play on words, intentional or not, almost a sight-gag, if you know what I mean. Oh, and one more thing, he gave this a lot of time and energy and I respect and understand that and, it's hard to explain that to an nearly eight year-old.
So, I will continue to try and find ways to show you Nick, perhaps show him to himself some day. The other day he ran off the bus, took off his jacket and handed me this and a seed:
"It's a plan to plant a seed in a box in the yard with netting over it so birds can't get in and then we'll harvest the seed into beans and cook 'em. I can use the box I used for the table to sell my stuff the other day. I need to copy this because my friend on the bus has a seed too and he's gonna do the same thing."
The seed is from a sumac tree, you know, the long brown seedpod filled with shiny, hard mahogany seeds that look like they are carved from wood and hand-polished. Seeds that look like tiny sculptures and fit in a little boy's hand like a worry stone in an old man's hand. Seeds that seem so warm and full and special. I know it is a tree seed, not a bean seed. I also know it is a dream seed, a hope seed, a hope for tomorrow seed, a dream that everything is right and will always turn out that way... seed. It is a beautiful seed. I remember holding some in my hand when I was just a boy.
I'll keep the plan, and the seed, and the box on the porch. I'll find some netting if he remembers this in two months. We'll plant it together, we'll water it, and we'll see what happens.
Thanks for sticking around, it means a lot to us.