I wrote this story about a year ago for a local parenting magazine. It’s all about Danny, my now 5-year-old. He is nothing like I describe him in the words that follow—well, except for the whining. Amazing how time changes little people so profoundly. I miss this Danny. And I love the one who sits next to me playing computer games at this very moment.
I never realized until my husband took Joey away for the weekend just how much Danny talks. We spent two whole days together, my 4-year-old and me, and except for the hours when Danny was asleep, we experienced not one minute of silence.
Danny talks while playing, while eating, while splashing in the tub, and while riding in the car. He talks himself to sleep, begins talking the instant his eyes open in the morning and when his brother isn’t home to engage with him, talks at my bedside until I emerge from my slumber. And while much of his verbal discourse is of the story-telling nature, he’s got quite a knack for asking questions—which requires my full presence, my undivided attention, and all sorts of meaningful responses.
“How old are you? What’s your name? What did you look like when you were a baby? How old were you when you were a baby? Are you bigger than Daddy? Is Daddy bigger than you? Are you going the speed limit?”
Boy, can that kid talk.
Danny has just a few jobs at his young age—he’s expected to dress himself, brush his teeth, practice good manners, share, recognize his letters, and minimize his propensity for whining. His biggest job, however, is to talk. It’s his best chance at understanding the world around him. Danny’s incessant questions lead to spirited information gathering and when I’m not too exhausted by his constant chattering, I realize how fun it is to inform someone who so enthusiastically wishes to be informed.
It all came down to me that weekend Danny and I spent together. I was on a solo mission, responsible for the accurate dispensing of facts and figures. What I told Danny may have helped shape his perspective on life. What a job. What an honor.
Danny wasn’t the only one rattling of questions during our one-on-one session. I asked my fair share too—I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bond with my youngest guy.
“What did you look like when you were a baby?” I asked Danny. “Like a baby,” he replied. “Tell me more,” I said. “My hair was blond,” he told me. “My eyes were green. I liked to play in the bath. I always liked to play with my toys. I loved my mommy, and I loved to talk.”
Yes, Danny likes to talk. And because I suspect the day will come when I won’t be able to lure more than a few words out of him, I’m going to soak up every syllable that flows from his sweet mouth. I’m going to savor every sound he makes with his raspy little voice, and I’m going to never forget that at this moment in time, I am Danny’s most trusted source of knowledge. I may never again appear so important in his eyes—which, incidentally, are blue—but for now, I’m his go-to girl. And there’s no way I’m letting go of this title.