This was too much fun not to record it:
Picture this. Sunny afternoon, Malta is beautiful with all the sun on you and the sea around you. My daughter is on a swing, chirpy and giggling as I push her. Next to her swing is another one with a boy – his mom pushing him. My son plays nearby. He approaches the swings, comes near me and waits patiently for his turn. Nothing abnormal so far. Not too long after that however, my son starts staring at the boy on that other swing to which I automatically chide.
My son, however, insists on staring and says to me, “mama, this is Adam from school”. The boy’s mom looks at my son, looks at me, smiles. She doesn’t say a word. I’m bewildered. So, is this Adam? If he is, why isn’t Adam saying anything.If he isn’t, why isn’t he saying anything? The boy, whose name is in question at this point, starts staring back blankly at my son and me or at least in our direction. My son stares back. A lot of staring and too many questions for a plain sunny afternoon. I stop myself from staring and tell my son, too, to stop staring.
But he goes again, “mama, this is Adam from my school, mama”.
The mother of the boy-whose-name-could-be-Adam turns towards us again and, again, says nothing. Really weird – I’d have protested by now if my son’s name wasn’t Adam, or I’d have given the little kid a rest if it was.
My son goes on again like a broken vinyl, “mama, this is Adam from school”.
“Ok, sweetheart, it could be, but I think they’re indifferent to what you think, so let it go, stop staring and go back to your play”, I wanted to tell him but my curiosity beat me to it.
So, I turn to the woman and say, “Is your son really called Adam, because my son won’t let go [and neither would I, until you tell]?”. The woman turns to me and says politely, “No”.
I smile to her reply (not really satisfied with the answer).
The other mom smiles too and continues her silent pushing of the swing and her son-whose-name-is-not-Adam in it.
My curiosity by then boils – imagine my son’s – so I poke the woman again and ask what her son’s name is then.
“Robert” she answers shortly.
My son, however, doesn’t want to give in, so he turns to the mom and very honestly and seriously asks,
“Are you sure it’s Robert?”
And we have a breakthrough.
The other mom and I burst into an uncontrollable laughter to my son’s question. We laugh so much that she hardly manages to blurt “Yes I’m sure”.
My son was by now flabbergasted.
Still serious, kind of disappointed, probably thinking, “What were these laughing at; this woman I’m sure was wrong, that’s totally Adam to me, but anyhow, if he doesn’t want to admit it, then fine…I have a jet to go fly, vrrrrrrrrr”
I just thought if “quirky” was ever a lesson I taught my kid or it was a “side effect” of the curiosity I’ve always tried to trigger in him. Either way, I felt kind of proud by the way he didn’t let go until he found out whether that was Adam or not. He may not be the best face recogniser but he sure knew how to get his answers.