Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Way with Words

My son didn’t talk much as a preschooler, not in the usual way at least. He was a saturation learner, busily gathering information from everywhere, from the air. Highly perceptive, he couldn’t help but be highly self-conscious and painfully shy. So words weren’t his preferred method of communication. A look, an action, a tearful tantrum came more easily than a simple, “I love you.” When he did say something though, he had a magical way with words.

On nights that it was my turn to tuck the fair-haired toddler into bed, conversation about his day would finish in split finer than hair. Desperate for a way to extend our time, I would move my attention from the head on the pillow to converse with the feet at the end of the bed. His feet, I had found, were the favored hide-out for his sly and reclusive extrovert gene.

“So feet,” I might say. “How was your day?”

“Fi-ine,” they would chime, moving together. The face on the pillow slowly growing a grin.

“What did you do on this fine day?”

“We played with the letters, and spelled prescription. We walked to the store with Dad.” He was living proof that painfully smart could live side-by-side with painfully shy.

I would tell the feet about my day and how I felt about it. Then we would play a hand and foot game that had made itself up over time as such mother-son things do. When it was time to settle down, I’d usually check back in to make sure that feelings were still going okay.

“So how are your feelings today, feet?”

One evening, this question got the most gregarious feet in response. They were more than just moving their imaginary heads. They were jumping and jiggling. They were trying to crawl up my arms. The little guy on the pillow was giggling along with them.

“Lot’s of smiles today,” the feet reported.

“Whoa! That’s so cool. Where did you get all of those smiles?”

The answering voice came from the little boy on the pillow.
“They come from inside my tummy, when I’m with someone I love, “ he said.

Like I told you, he had a way with words.

He still does.
—me strauss Letting me be


"ME" Liz Strauss said...


Anonymous said...

this is a very nice and touching post.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Awwwwww...what an awesome son you have! How blessed you are! :)

Hugs to you,

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Thank you, Sarah.

Like I said. He does have a way with words. :)

Anonymous said...

what a great little guy!

Anonymous said...

I am glad I came across your blog. You remind me alot of myself. The day is full of things that must be done and have to be delegated. My first priority consists of all the people that fill those lives with smiles and hugs. BTW, I never run for the bus either...

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hey supermom,
What a high compliment--to say I remind you of you. I like to make people laugh or smile. I think it makes two people happy if you can get one to smile.

Yeah I always figure there's another bus. Actually, I go for the taxi every time.


The Complimenting Commenter said...

That is fantabulous. Very cute and endearing. Thanks for sharing such moments with the rest of us.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hey Rhein,
Good to see you back.
Guess now you know why I like the caption to that first picture. :)


"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Thanks for the compliment, commenter.

Anonymous said...

"They come from inside my tummy, when I’m with someone I love."

HOOK! Great ending. Great line. This makes the whole story work.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

I have wealth of such stories. He was quite precocious a child. We were never ahead of him. We stil have to run to stay behind. :)