“I need a peachy color,” he says.
“You can make peach if you pencil really lightly with pink and orange,” I answer. And it occurs to me that somewhere along the line I learned about mixing colors, but he hasn’t yet. How many millions of things do we take for granted now, so much so that we can’t remember a time when we didn’t know them?
“Will it be dark enough?” he says.
“It will be once you put the second layer of color on it,” I say.
“Hey! That works!” he says, and I feel so proud, as if I’ve explained cold fusion to him.
The longest half hour of your life could be sitting side-by-side with an 8-year-old boy who has recently learned to burp at will. The longest and the grossest. Oh, he claims it’s his breakfast disagreeing with him, but I inform him that I, too, was once 8 years old, and I know the difference between an involuntary eruption and a forced one. It’s a skill I once possessed, truth be told, but like many skills, you gotta use it or lose it. (I think I’d be pretty disappointed in myself if I had kept it up.)
Also, apparently it’s cool to only excuse yourself once every 5 burps, and then only when your reading tutor gives you the stinkeye and clears her throat pointedly.
According to my source, the time before there were dinosaurs was the time of dragons.
According to that same source, time travel is not only possible, but feasible. He’s pretty sure a person can build a time machine.
You can’t start sentences with “And.” And while that’s not actually true, I was simultaneously surprised and not that that old chestnut is still being passed on to children. I debated explaining it, but I figured my second-grader wasn’t really up for a discussion of linguistic history and habit, and my second-grader’s teacher would not appreciate my meddling in the boundaries that are probably more useful than harmful for a beginning writer.
There is little that compares to receiving an entirely unexpected hug from a little boy whom you didn’t think you were reaching at all and who has seemed indifferent to the entire venture you’re engaged in.