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Slices of Life... Cal's world - alone together, getting neutered and everything in between

We see the world through our own unique perspective. When you are six, that perspective often contains honesty, wonder and a butchering of the language that is uncommon later in life. This column is courtesy of six-year-old, Cal, whose observations are sometimes wise beyond his years. Other times they are just plain funny.

* * *

One warm day last summer, the kids were playing outside. Cal, who has never been much of an advocate for clothing, came up with a rule for summer days.

"When it's hot you should go outside, take off all your clothes and get neutered!" he announced.

* * *

After his first day of first grade, Cal reported that the teacher had given them a tour of the school. "We walked around in a bunch of circles," he said. "That's all I can say. I can't 'splain it any better than that."

* * *

Cal came home with his first grade class pictures. He was surprised by the fact that there were numerous photos of him (all of the same shot) in the envelope. "They only took one picture of me," he said. "How did they get so many?"

"These are copies of the one they took of you," we explained.

He looked through the pile with interest. "If these are copies, then where is the real one?" he wondered.

* * *

Cal had been playing with coins when we decided to make some apple crisp. "Wash your hands," I told him.

"But they're clean," he said.

"You've been playing with money," I said. "And that's dirty."

He looked at the coins. "But these aren't dirty," he said. "They're shiny!"

* * *

Cal and I had the house all to ourselves. Dad and the big kids were fulfilling commitments elsewhere, and would be home the following day. We settled in for an evening of movie watching. Cal cuddled under a blanket on the couch and must have been feeling comfy.

"Will you carry me into bed if I fall asleep?" he asked.

"Sure will," I answered.

He thought about that for a moment. "Which bed will you carry me to, my own or yours?"

"Whichever one you want," I said.

Our family is like many others. When I'm home alone with the kids, they like to snuggle in with me. Since Cal is used to sharing a room with his brother, the idea of sleeping alone must have been a bit foreign.

"I'll be all alone in my room, and you'll be alone in yours," he observed thoughtfully. He paused, thinking for a moment. "You can carry me to your room," he said decisively. "We might as well be alone together."

* * *

One night, while contemplating his upcoming seventh birthday, he was waxing philosophical and said, "When you're a kid, you just want to be a grown-up. You get to move out of the house. Your mom is still your mom but her hair will be different, and then she'll be a grandma. But at the same time she'll still always be your mom. It's the final stages of your life. I can't wait to see what it's like."

I ruffled his hair and gave him a hug.

"I can't wait to see what you're like," I told him. "Because you are pretty great right now."

He gave me a toothless grin and ran off to wrestle with his brothers.

Jill Pertler is a syndicated columnist and award winning freelance writer working with graphic designer Nikki Willgohs to provide writing and design and other marketing services to businesses and individuals. You can check out their Web site at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/ or e-mail Jill at pertmn@qwest.net.

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