Andrew is beginning to be able to grasp, and be interested in, increasingly abstract concepts. He has also, since he could talk, been a perpetual question asker. Those two facets of his personality can combine for fascinating conversation these days. They can also collide and make him completely frustrating.
On Sunday, when he wanted to know all about Daylight Savings Time and how it works and why we observe it, I found that endearing. That evening, when he took it upon himself to explain to Thomas how Daylight Savings Time works and concluded emphatically with the fact that it wasn't really 8:30 p.m. and therefore they shouldn't really go to bed, I found that...not endearing.
Sometimes his newfound knowledge is too much for him; his ability to absorb outpaces his ability to reason. He's learning about all types of severe weather at school right now. Want to know about the jetstream and the factors that influence it? Just ask him. He'll discuss it with you. Want to have to reassure him multiple times in an evening that the conditions aren't currently favorable for cool, dry air aloft to collide with warm moist air closer to the ground? Come on over.
Long about December 1st he informed us that he basically didn't believe in Santa. We eventually had to have a talk about Santa being representative of an idea, an emotion, a notion. He seemed to get it. He has, however, recently informed me that he definitely doesn't believe in the Tooth Fairy. I tried the Santa logic and he said he would go with it because he likes the $2 but he doesn't think the tooth fairy is representative of something bigger. Hmmm.
This ability to think in less concrete ways can sometimes lead me to talk to him in a way that belies his age. I occasionally find myself conversing with him as if he's 16 instead of eight. (Especially when he's using his knowledge for evil.) That's why what happened tonight in our backyard was so good for both of us.
He and Thomas spent close to an hour just messing around outside with our backyard neighbor boy. That sounds so Norman Rockwell, and it would be, if they weren't doing this on opposite sides of the fence. To actually get the boys together on one side of the fence requires a walk that's somewhere around 1/3-mile, because of the way the streets wrap around one another. Tonight, as they do many nights, they settled for talking at the fence, passing rocks through the slats and throwing a football back and forth as if that fence wasn't even there.
When I called my boys in for dinner, Andrew hit the kitchen asking for an empty Kleenex box, a penny and a stick. After I pointed him to a penny it dawned on me to ask. Why? Because. The neighbor boy has a really good idea about how you could make a Leprechaun trap. They're going to try it before Saturday. Andrew told Max he would be in charge of those supplies. Max is getting the cheese for the inside.
Ah, yes! It's all coming back to me. They're only eight. I want to keep him that way.