We were at the park, and Raphael needed to go to the bathroom. I took his hand and began the trek across the parking lot to the trio of port-a-potties. As we walked we chatted.
“Those boys are throwing rocks at the bees,” he told me soberly.
“Really? Probably not a good idea.”
“I don’t want them to throw rocks at ME.”
I squeezed his soft, damp hand and enjoyed its tiny weight in mine.
“Well, that’s good,” I told him.
“If they DID, I could just RUN AWAY.”
“That’s a good plan.”
“Or I could just go back and thorth and then they would MISS ME.”
“Sure, you could try to dodge the rocks too.”
“Or I could say ‘JUST GO AWAY NOW BOYS.’”
“Right, or you could ask them to stop.”
We walked in silence for a moment, then he looked up at me and nodded like a wee little attorney.
“I have lots of good plans.”
I smiled back at him, and imagined his ACTUAL response, had boys been in fact throwing rocks at him. That scenario would probably have included ear piercing screams, a windmill of outraged punches, and the rapid-fire volley of return rocks. But then again, as he rehearses other approaches in these conversations, perhaps he’s getting closer to reacting that way. I have seen him rear back to hit one of his brothers, and then stay his hand with a super-human force of will. He is a fierce little soul, but he is learning.
“Yes, baby, you have LOTS of good plans.”