Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Rojo has been asking to go to Tom and Nancy's house in the afternoon since last spring. It started innocently enough, they have a great swing on an impossibly tall tree in the backyard, and he loves to swing on it. At first we'd walk down on a beautiful day, take a swing, and leave.
Then it turned into him doing a bit of a concert and singing church songs at the top of his lungs in a falsetto voice. Nancy would come out from her kitchen and we'd sit around the patio table and visit. If Tom happened to be home, he'd join us, too.
Then our visit got extended and we'd stay for a beer (me) and water (him). Then snacks became involved. Then every now and then turned into him obsessing and begging to go every single day, which Nancy and Tom graciously accommodated as much as their busy schedules would allow.
Spring turned to summer and as summer turned to fall we thought the trend might die out. No. We just moved the party inside. Tom put away the patio table and chairs and instead of bringing Flicka and hanging in the backyard, we took over their family room. Soon Rojo decided there was more action in the basement (a computer, big TV, extra fridge with things Nancy bought just for him and even his own secret hiding place for his snacks so no one else in the family dare eat them).
Fall turned to winter and things got busy with the holidays. We still made it over there 2-3 times a week, though. Then Nancy's dad got really sick and was in the hospital. Rojo had a hard time understanding how it was more important for Nancy to be at the hospital each day with her dad, than being in her basement waiting on him hand and foot. "Nancy's dad is really sick, Rojo, he might die. Nancy needs to be with him."
He got quiet, thought about that a minute then said, "Does everyone die?"
"Yes, honey, everyone dies."
"I'm not going to die, I'm special," he said.
"There's no question you're special," I said.
I don't know if he's just heard the term "special needs" so often, or if he thinks he truly will beat death, or that he gets that there is no beginning, no ending, only everlasting love, and that those that live in that love live eternally.
I'm betting on the latter.
* Photo from http://static.howstuffworks.com