As if I needed any more reason not to clean…
On Friday I cleaned out my closet, a catch-all storage over the last half year for everything from clothes to bags to Fred’s toys when I needed to take them away from him. Within the first five minutes of entering this black hole I found the following “interview” I had taken in my notebook three-and-a-half years ago, shortly after Fred had turned six. Funny how I had thought nothing of his words then.
While reading it Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World also happened to be playing on Pandora and within a couple of minutes I had to switch the station. It was too much. (If you want the full effect you can click on the link above and listen to the song while reading my post, though I will totally understand if you are not awash in the same nostalgia and bittersweet melancholy that I was.)
Things I’ve Learned Now That I’m 6 [by Fred, and dictated by Mom]
Bugs don’t live that long.
This is something that I knew when I was 5: The earth spins around and around and around.
People make books.
Some people are strong, some people are smart.
Some babies write on books for the library or something.
Babies don’t know ABCs until they read a book on ABCs.
My dad can go fast.
Dads can read books.
My dad can do origami.
The grown-ups cook and the kids eat.
It’s not good to fight.
I love my mom and dad.
It’s not good to lie.
5 x 5 = 20.
6 x 2 = 12.
9 x 2 = 18.
If you use a magnifying glass, you can see bugs very well.
The sun is very hot. You would not want to live on the sun.
Making things makes your bones strong.
You can get hurt when you play a sport.
Some bugs like wet.
Flowers or any kind of plants die if you don’t water it. Almost everybody knows that.
If you tear a paper, you can’t put it back without tape or glue.
And in his writing:
If you bracke a promas then that persen will be mad.
If you have 1 one pensle and you bracke it: you will have to buy another pensle.
At the time I thought it was cute, mundane…if anything I remember wishing he would come up with something deeper than how bugs look under a magnifying glass. But now having reached the median of my active duty as a mother, I appreciate this innocent list as a glimpse into my child’s world during the year he started school, when he was taking cause and effect and rules and being a good person to a next level, as well as admiring Daddy. There will never be another list like it.
I don’t see Fred growing in the way that I used to, when change meant such drama as going from traveling on all fours to walking upright. Nowadays I catch it in the quiet and in passing – the sighting of small wads of hair in the recycling bin because he has decided to fix his haircut by himself, or when I look up from my cutting board one evening to answer a question and realize that I need to raise my head higher now in order to meet his eyes. I see it if I take the time to peer into and appreciate his world, a world that is constantly shifting, changing, growing, at a speed now so steady we can hardly feel it, not unlike the rotation of our planet or the blooming of a flower when we water it.