And so, with those 9 hours a week, Little H has joined the ranks of back-pack-owning, lunch-box-toting, rule-learning school children. He loves the excitement of being with the other kids – and playing with a toy trash truck there that he has claimed as his own. (If you ask him about his day at preschool, his answer will invariably include the trash truck he played with.)One of the most remarkable changes of having a child in school is that he is learning things we didn’t teach him. He suddenly says and does things that we had no role in, which is especially significant at this age because they are such complete products of what they are taught.
In the first 2 weeks, Little H came home saying “thank you” more often, without having to be prompted, singing a song about “clean-up time”, and saying “hate” for anything he dislikes, a word we’d carefully avoided around him, since kids are apt to use it liberally once it’s entered their vocabulary. He also picked up a game where he says, “Watch me tip over,” then waits a dramatic few seconds to build up suspense before crumbling to the ground and giggling.
It’s an amazing honor to witness his growth and maturity through such simple things as remembering to be polite, knowing what it means to tip over, or even to express preferences by “hating” a particular toy, cup, or food at a given moment.I’m not sure if he picked it up from Bobby or me, or heard it in some form at preschool, but last night he offered me a very mature compliment, one that he couldn’t possibly have known the perfection of.
I was leaning over him at bedtime, giving him kisses and saying goodnight. He, on the other hand, was continuing his end of the conversation without pause, chattering incessantly, when he stopped and put his hand on my very ugly, but comfy, beanie and said, “You have a blue hat on. It look nice on you. Mommy, it look nice on you.” It was red. But still, compliment accepted. I don’t think there is another soul alive that would tell me that unflattering sleeping beanie looks nice.A few months later, I will lean over his bed in a similar evening routine and again receive an oddly perfect compliment. By the end of the 6 rounds of chemo, my eyebrows and eyelashes have grown thin. I remain grateful to have not lost them completely, (a fear I harbor throughout the process), but am a bit self-consciousness over their scarcity. With the classic innocence of a small child, Little H presses his head against mine, gives me good-night kisses, and says, “I love you Mommy. And I like you eyebrows.”
Perfectly random I’m sure, but perfect none the less.