|The silent child and the tantrum, er, |
cheerful child. Both, the sunshine of my life.
"Are you sure?' Garnet said. "He hardly talked to me the whole night, but I know he likes to win at table games."
"Yeah, I'm sure he had fun. He loves tacos, loves playing cards, and loves attention, so I'm sure he had fun," I told her. Plus, he had given the evening a rating of ten when I asked him for a scaled evaluation, a way for me to get information from him in a way he likes to give it: with one syllable.
"Don't worry," I consoled Garnet. "I took him to Chicago last summer and he didn't talk to me the whole weekend."
He didn't cry as a baby either and in fact was a dream infant, sleeping for 22 hours a pop from day one. Bob and I would go to bed at night and forget about him in the baby swing because he was so quiet. We'd be almost asleep -- exhausted from the other child who was more prone to delivering earsplitting tantrums for the whole neighborhood to enjoy, or maybe the whole department store -- when one of us would say, did you put the baby to bed? The other would respond, no, I didn't put the baby to bed, did you? Then one of us would have to drag our tired butt out of bed and slog downstairs to retrieve the tiny child from a darkened living room, a tiny child perfectly content to sit in the still chair of the swing, happily sitting in the dark.
Having a silent baby is wonderful. Having a silent teenager is another thing. Kind of a payback, I suppose. But I'm convinced it's not a teen-stage. It's a core personality trait.
It's the same trait that glommed him onto American Sign Language.
The same trait that attracts him to a public bus full of tired commuters.
The same trait that responds to a sick father with fullness of his body. When Bob's liver failed and he lay in our living room like he was in a coma for weeks and months, people came over to pray. I won't go into my misgivings about prayer, but I will say that it was very nice to have other human beings enter our dead zone of a home. My son was seven at the time and he didn't pray or question. While the visitor talked to God, the boy's instinct was to crawl onto the futon and lay next to Bob, burrowing into him as far as he could as though his body would personally deliver the prayer to the underside of Bob's skin, where vital functions tried so hard to work, but couldn't fully get it together.
When my son and I rode the Megabus to Chicago last summer, I kept thinking what a perfect travel-mate he made. He didn't say a peep the whole six hours from Des Moines to the Union Station, but was perfectly content to look out the window and eat Cheetos as cornfields flew by. I felt relieved for all the future airplane seat mates and other such people who might one day sit next to him and be glad he didn't strike up a conversation of small talk.
There's not much of a point to make here tonight. Just writing stuff. My mother said she missed my blog, which I thought was very nice. So, I'm making a greater effort to write and to write as though good writing doesn't matter.
Maybe that's why food is the universal language. Who needs to talk or write well when you've got tacos? I think we'll have tacos next week when my cooking team is up for the Beloved Community meal. Such is how my decision making goes.
Meanwhile, I asked my son if he wanted to take another trip with me to Chicago this summer. He responded yes. (And only yes.) Another four days of silence in the city. Such is how my meditative practise plays out.
Thanks for coming over to my blog, one that only a mother could love.