I was in a bad mood this morning, and I decided to take a turn around the block to clear my head. My neighbor was watering the garden out back, but I didn’t really feel like talking, so I said hello and walked on by.
It was not to be. The local 7-year-old spotted me. For some reason, there aren’t many kids his age on our street, so he hangs out with the toddler next door. When the toddler’s not home, he sometimes just hangs around until somebody comes out of a house. He alternately claims to be 7 or 9, depending how old the other nearby kids are.
Anyways, he asked if I was going for a walk, and started following me. We saw a broken lightbulb on the street. He told me it reminded him of the time when he and his sister had a pet lightbulb named Roger, until his brother broke it. I was going to suggest he get a pet rock, but it took me a few seconds to get my composure; I didn’t want to laugh at his choice of pets. By that time, however, he’d moved on to announce that today was his birthday.
“Really? How old are you?” I asked.
“Seven,” he responded proudly.
“Wait a minute, I thought you were already seven!” I said, a little accusation in my voice. He was silent for a minute, so I bailed him out.
“Just today, then?”
I asked him if he was going to have a party or anything, and he said, “My mom’s probably going to get me a weird cake.”
I asked what made the cake so weird, but he changed the subject.
For about half a block, he just bounced a two-pronged stick against the sidewalk, shouting, “Boing! Boing! Boing!” Then we discussed the elastic properties of sticks.
I didn’t really get any time to myself, but I got a few good stories and conversation starters. Also, a bit of an ego boost: I’m apparently entertaining enough to keep a conversation with a 7-year-old. This gives me hope for my son’s future. Maybe I can be a cool mom, at least until he gets to middle school. ♦