During Cooter’s gym class I am sometimes sitting in the waiting area by myself. It is quiet, and I sit and enjoy it. The only sounds are the voices of the boys and their teacher in the next room. And the occasional car that passes by.
I was sitting lost in my own thoughts when I heard the teacher call my son’s name and say, “Please stop talking to A. Let’s listen.”
I had talked to Cooter about this. Just before class. Over and over.
You are there to learn gymnastics. You are there to listen. I am glad you like your buddies, but you shouldn’t be talking. You have to pay attention.
I know they are talking because he comes home telling me the tales of what his friends have been up to. This is the first year he’s been in an all boys’ class, so he is THRILLED to be “hanging out with the guys.” He likes them all, but the boy who is the oldest has Cooter starstruck. And that would be A, whom he was busted for talking too. Not for the first time, I am sure.
I called him on it after class. He stopped, wrinkled up his face, cocked his head, rubbed his cheek, and then proceeded to tell me the story about the time when there were bats in A’s attic. How a guy said he could take care of them, and he sprayed their attic with water. And the bats didn’t go away. The guy told them “he wanted forty-twelve–twenty-nine, four hundred and fifty-seven dollars. And they said, ‘We’re not paying you, all you did was wet our attic.'”
That was not a “hey that’s a cool shirt” quick kind of conversation. No wonder their sweet teacher looks tired some days. It makes me tired listening to the retelling of the conversation.
It reminded me of a story from when I was in the first grade. Just like Cooter.
My teacher was wonderful. I loved school. Mama had taught me to read the year before, and it was my first year in school. I was making all A’s. I was lucky. School was a game I had figured out how to play, and I was good at it.
Then the second six weeks (that’s how our “periods” used to be divided up) I think it was, I brought home my report card. I had all A’s and the things that teachers checked off were all good, except for one. “Talks too much” was checked.
Mama and Daddy sat down with me after he got home from work.
“Tara, are you talking to your friends in class? Does Mrs. P ever ask you to be quiet?”
I thought for a minute. “Yes ma’am, she does. And every time she does, I be quiet.”
That’s the stuff family lore is made of. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard them tell this story.
And now, I think it might be genetic.
My boy can talk. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember the girls being so verbose at this age.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he talks to me. I’m thrilled.
But it is funny to remember how he when he was almost two and wasn’t talking much, I was worried.
Dear Past Self, STOP IT. No worries. At all.
He is making up for lost time now. And how.
Anyone else have a little talker in their house? Do they come by it naturally?
Tonight I am thankful for my little guy who changed my world from the moment he entered into it. I am thankful he has found his voice and wants to share things with me, like Star Wars and Harry Potter and Legos and Indiana Jones and his thoughts on George Washington’s battle strategies. I also give thanks that when I reach my hand down as we are walking and talking together, he still reaches out and takes mine. Most of all, I’m thankful for that face, the one he makes when he’s full of the mischief and he knows I know.
Tonight after a full day of talking, talking, and more talking, he came up to where I was sitting and started motioning with his hands and pointing at his mouth. I knew what he wasn’t saying. He wanted dee-zert, as he calls it. I told him I found it very funny that after a day of non-stop conversation, all of a sudden he wasn’t speaking.
That boy cracks me up.
And I love him so.