I was walking Neil out of school when he stopped to examine the birds and bees. The curious case of Neil Thomas Abraham has myriad nuances to it. One of the many nuances—being an absolute boy. He could be animated in a conversation without a care in the world, but spotting a bug or a worm can cut that conversation short in the blink of an eye. He loves watching them crawl, creep, slither, and slide away. At that point I’m not looking and I’m wondering which part of his cortex has taken over.
Anyways, after much cajoling and coaxing, he walked towards the car complaining to his mama that she has been unfair in taking him away from his bugs. Just as we stepped towards the car, a small, helpless looking dragonfly was flitting around us. Neil of course was thrilled. It flew a little, sat a little, flew a little, and then sat a little. Neil tottered around this thing for what seemed like an eternity. He finally proclaimed to his mama that the dragonfly had to go home with him.
So I was left with the task of ambushing this hapless little fly. So there I was squatting in the parking lot bumming around for a dragon-fly. By some quirky stroke of luck, I actually managed to get hold of it. Yes! It was in my hand. For Neil it seemed like a very normal thing that his mother was able to catch this fly. I am superwoman par excellence in Neil’s eyes. So holding this fly, I buckle him to his seat, rev up the engine, let it fly around inside the car with shrieks of joy filling the car.
We got home all in one piece and Neil wanted the fly in his room. He decided at 20 months that the fly survived on wild berries and leaves. So he pulled a handful of them and left it by his window. This is where I am wondering how his little mind works. It had to be placed by the window and nowhere else. Did he think the fly needed a visual of the world outside to give him a feeling of being ‘at home?’.
Anyways, we woke up to a dead fly the next morning and he promptly announced, “the dragonfly is dead mama. He was shad (sad), but he is happy.” How he is able to relate death to sadness at such a young age has blown my mind away. Death is a very matter of fact thing in his world. The bug is dead, the warm (worm) is dead, the squirrel is dead…etc.
This was when I visited my childhood again. As the years add up, my experiences from childhood seem to be getting hazy. This was something I did as a child&—go after butterflies and dragonflies. I remember catching them and then putting them inside my bag to show my friends. My son is helping me relive my memories again. I am a child again!