T. and I are laying on our sides in bed facing each other. It is thirty-five minutes into a negotiation (or is that a stand-off?) with him about going to bed that had already included reading countless kids books and a half-hearted attempt at reading the New Yorker’s article on Scientology aloud – zero interest on his part – that I stumbled upon a idea. I asked, “Do you want to know how we met?” for no other reason than to kill time.
The question was met with an enthusiastic – “Yesith!”
I started at a beginning in the story that is T. I said that “Mommy and daddy wanted a little boy and we got a phone call from a lady named Cathy (our State adoption worker) who said she knew this two-year-old boy named T. who was really great and really wanted a family. We told Cathy we really wanted this boy to be our son and started planning for him and we thought about him all the time. Soon, he became the only thing we thought about.” At this point, T. uttered several “Yays!!”
I asked, “You wondered how we met?” Nodding his head, he said, “Yesith.”
How did this never occur to me that he would want to hear this story?
I continued the story of how we met up to when he moved into our house over 4 months later. Through out he punctuates with claps, laughs, and sighs.
I told him about the photo we got of him two months before we met and how I carried it with me everywhere. How I still had it creased and worn.
“You want to hear it again?”
This story has become a ritual, which he initiates by making the sign for “again” when he wants to hear it. I have taken to calling it the Again Story.
Many days later, I picked him up at a babysitter’s house. She told me they had just come back from a walk. When I was putting him in car seat I pointed down the street and said, “You went for a walk?”
He pointed to the other side of the street and said, “ I was there.”
He was correcting me – pointing to where he had actually been just minutes ago.
He was also telling me he understood his world had a past tense.