My time with Full Speed at home while he recovers is winding down. I’ve noticed that when it is just the two of us, it feels more like I’m spending time with a small man than my nearly five year old son.
He is a serious boy. Believe me, he loves a good chuckle but mostly he is thoughtfully observant and brimming with curiosity. As his observations become more multifaceted, I am finding it difficult to explain things in terms he can relate to. Today he asked me what it meant to have a broken heart.
“Well, you know that feeling in your chest when you feel sad?” I ask.
“No, I am not sad. I don’t feel sad. I never feel sad,” he says in a stern way. He is clearly trying to avoid his feelings in a typically male fashion.
Okay, so that approach didn’t work. I knew I needed to clearly address his question because we’ve had all sorts of discussions about bodies that don’t ‘work’ anymore as I tried to explain what happened when his Grandma died. I didn’t want him to think that a heart randomly breaks and stops working (even though it could but you know what I mean).
“When a heart is broken,” I bravely plod on, “it means more about having hurt feelings than an actual heart that hurts.” I expounded a little more and then he moved on to something else. This kid is going to give me a run for the money with his questions. It is highly entertaining and terrifying all at once.
When we were riding in the truck today, Full Speed explained he liked to wear his seatbelt under his arm instead of over his shoulder.
“Full Speed, you need to keep it over your shoulder so you stay safe,” I state firmly.
“What would happen if I never, ever wore my seatbelt again?” he asks.
“That would be against the law and you wouldn’t keep safe if we were in an accident,” I respond.
“Mom, there’s a girl in my class who says she doesn’t wear her seatbelt. We should tell the police. You should call them as soon as we get home.” He is a stickler for the rules.
I am taken aback with frustrated amusement and grow silent. I’m learning sometimes when I try to explain things we end up on a tangent so far from the starting point that I want to give up.
I don’t say anything for a few minutes and all is quiet in the backseat.
“Mom, do you know the number to the police because they need to know about so-and-so not wearing her seatbelt,” he persists.
I can ‘hear’ it now, “911 what is your emergency?” the voice on the line asks.
I say, “My five year old asks questions I can’t answer and may soon be smarter than I am. Send help immediately.”
Believe me my finger is hovered over the phone at the ready to dial.