(With apologies to Wendy, Mary, & Chris, who I think would all understand.)
My youngest son, Zoomboy, is a scorpio.
Scorpios are “intense little creatures” and Zoomboy is a textbook case. He has a laser like concentration–he can focus on a craft project he’s interested in to the exclusion of everything: drafts on the floor, hunger, the need to pee. NOTHING comes between Zoomboy and the object of his interest, including other people’s conversation and logic. When we pick him up from school, he will often review with us the thing he has learned that day or that week, and Goddess help anyone who interrupts with silly things, like “Fasten your seatbelt” or “For heaven’s sake, shut your door!”
These last few weeks, he’s been studying homophones, homonyms, and synonyms. In the middle of a perfectly logical train of thought, he will suddenly become very excited: “Mom! Mom! They’re, there and their are homophones. These are words that sound the same, but mean different things. That’s different than words with multiple meanings. Like bat which is a baseball bat and bat which flies around.” I always nod, and say good job, even if he’s said this before–it’s important to him. Very very very important. Everything the teacher says is important–even when she’s telling him not to talk and he just can’t help himself. Sometimes, he’s like a very intense little chihuahua– he wants to please but his tense, bony little body was just not made to stay in the same place for any length of time.
Zoomboy has always been my “miracle” baby. We weren’t digital when he was born, so I can’t show you the picture that was taken about a week after he shot out of my uterus, but his entire face was recovering from one big bruise–his eyes were brick red, and everything from his upper lip to the crown of his downy little head was purple, green and yellow. Apparently he scraped his face on my hipbone as he was being pushed out–imagine that. My Zoomboy doing things the hard way. Everybody hold onto your suprise.
After he was born, he spent five days in the hospital, three of them without me. Now since then, I’ve heard worse stories–in fact, older brother, Big T, was almost one of them, because when he came out, he was all blue and refused to breathe (the little shit–there goes five years off of my life, I’m telling you–and that was when we fist met!) But Zoomboy suddenly decided that his blood sugar was too low to wake up, and he spent five days getting a tube shoved up his nose so he could eat, and getting his heel spiked for blood, so they could see if he’d eaten enough, and getting tested for Strep B because the admitting embryo was too green to see that sticking her hand up my wazoo and pretending to feel me up did NOT yield accurate results regarding the progress in my labor, so I didn’t get my antibiotics in time. (People wonder why I refuse to bow down to authority. Could it be because when I have been at my most helpless, authority has invariably pissed on my head and let me down? Could be. Just sayin’. Could be.)
Anyway, five days. I spent two days there at the hospital, and then we came home, returning twice a day to keep feeding the little goober One day we got caught in traffic, and found him in the “control room” with the other nurses, because they hadn’t fed him when it was feeding time. Apparently, he was (in the words of the night nurse) “showing those premie babies what a fully developed set of lungs was supposed to sound like, when they got their own.”
Zoomboy has been living up to that ever since.
His best friend in the world, Sam, is a quiet, intense little boy too, with a quiet, intense smile. They have been best friends since last year, and will, I hope, continue to be best friends. I don’t know of another little boy who could watch Zoomboy pick up a stick, and instantly comprehend that a game of warriors was about to commence. I don’t know of another little boy who could play so intensely, and still play nice. (Okay–one. I know one little boy–but he’s got his own focuses and I don’t know if Zoomboy understands them.) At any rate, I’m glad that Zoomboy has found his childhood kindred spirit, because otherwise, he has the capacity to be a very very lonely little boy. His own head is quite full of his own things, and he can become lost in them with very little effort at all.
Zoomboy plays soccer because it allows him to hunt ladybugs, pick dandylions, and show other little boys how good it feels when they haul the hem of their long soccer shorts up to their chins. He is vaguely aware that there is a ball involved somewhere–very often, behind him, when it is zooming into the goal. That’s okay–he still looks forward to being a “soccer boy” even if he doesn’t understand that everyone else’s passion for the game roughly equals his own passion for homophones, the daily joke, and absolutely matching sets of Happy Meal toys. He doesn’t understand them at all, but we all hope that someday, he will.
He still sits on my lap–still treasures that time. He will back up to the kitchen and say, “Are you ready for it?” and then hold out his arms and rush into me across two rooms for a “super big squishy hug”. He hugs until it hurts–I’ve had to limit these to one a day, to minimize the bruising from the sharp and hollow bones of his tense little body. He gets angry when I say he’s bony though–he wants to be ‘squishie’–he thinks that makes him more lovable.
He does not realize that it would be impossible for me or his father to love him any more than we already do. That would be “infinity plus one”–and he keeps telling us that there is no such number.
He asks me how much I love him, and I say, “Bigger than sky and deeper than blue.”
He says, “Do you know who I love more than you (and Arwyn?) I say, “No, I don’t.” He says, “No one.”
And really? I have no words for that. We waited nine years for him, after his big sister. It was an odd time for him to come, but it was precisely, exactly his time.
We wouldn’t have him any other way.