Will is an especially fascinating person to spend long periods of time with; he is puzzling and wildly entertaining and heartwarming and frustrating and intriguing and exhausting, all rolled into one little body and one big heart and mind. While the rest of us in the family seemed to slow down over our time off, Will was always on the move, either physically or mentally or emotionally. He is like a rocket that is always about three seconds away from blasting off, and when he is not launching himself into school and swim practices, it seems he must constantly seek out other interesting ways to direct his fired-up energy. One morning when I walked out into the hallway, I was immediately greeted by a determined Will, who was bearing an official looking document and a pen for me to sign it with. He had spent the early morning hours drafting up a legal contract that allowed for the switching of chores between him and Noah:
Another day he worked out and enthusiastically shared with Matt and I an elaborate plan for his sixteenth birthday. He had decided that we were going to drive him to Eagle Lake, way up in Northwestern Ontario, so he could participate in the annual Big Bass Sea Giant Hunt he had read about somewhere. While he was really excited about this event and wished he could do it right then, Will's careful thinking had led him to the realization that it was best to wait until he was bigger and stronger so he would be a better match for the enormous fish he would catch and would not get pulled into the water. (There is something really sweet about the naivete of an 8 year old boy who thinks he will want to go fishing for his 16th birthday, isn't there? If he still actually wants to do this when he turns 16, I am totally going to take him!)
You would think that having a bunch of new toys to play with would have been enough to keep Will happily busy over the two weeks he was off. He certainly enjoyed puzzling over Perplexus balls and constructing intricate things out of Lego and Snap Circuit sets, but that mind of his seems to always, always need more to ponder. At bedtime one night he called me back into his room awhile after I had tucked him in and turned out his light because he needed to talk about something that had been worrying him. He wanted to confirm that Chief Spence wouldn't actually starve to death on her hunger strike, because she was, in fact, still taking liquids. When I reassured him that she would be okay, I could see the relief across his face, and I was moved by his concern for the well-being of a woman he had never met.
Over the holidays,Will even came up with a name for the feelings he gets when his mind is too full or moving too quickly. I can't even count how many times in two weeks he told me he had "pharmofolea" (that's how he told me to spell it), an affliction that results when you get too much pressure somewhere from doing something in your brain. Apparently pharmofolea can strike your hands (they get hot and sweaty, I'm told), or your feet, or your head, and it doesn't feel very good. (You can feel free to use this as a reason any time you would rather not be doing something. I'll tell Will you said thanks.)
Sometimes when I look at and listen to Will, I feel like I am an outsider peeking into a world that is mysterious and just out of my reach. Sometimes, though, I feel like he pulls me right in alongside him to share in the wonder of the universe within him. There are days that during our morning trek to school, I notice Will intentionally and perfectly matching my steps as I walk. He takes timed, giant strides with his small spider Bogs-clad feet and his little legs to keep up with each of my quickly moving steps. When I become aware of what he's doing, I look at him and he looks at me and we share a knowing laugh and a moment that is full of meaning and understanding.
One morning this week when Will was once again trying to time our steps together perfectly, he said to me, "Mom, you're hard to keep up with!" In so many ways other than walking, I feel exactly the same way about him. I hope, though, that in those wonderful moments where we really connect with each other, he sees just how much I want to keep on trying.
Photo credit: Justin Fabian
This was a really nice post. It reminds me so much of my own son, who never, ever stops. It's tiring sometimes, but I love trying to figure out what's going on in his head. It's nice to see it doesn't get any less interesting as they get older!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Kathleen! I can definitely reassure you that things with boys like ours just keep getting more fascinating as time goes by. :)Delete