I’ve learned, over the last decade or so, that my son John is “language oriented.” This means two things. One: He has a flair for language, excels in spelling, vocabulary, grammar; that’s my boy! Two: He talks nonstop. Teachers call this “highly social.” I haven’t yet figured out if this is meant as a compliment ….
Anyway, both of us are talkers though he has far more endurance than I. On weekends, especially, there is an ongoing, almost stream-of-consciousness conversation that stretches from the moment he wakes until he gets back into bed at night. It’s rich, exhausting, and often a lot of fun.
Some summers ago I am clipping flowers from the garden to bring inside. On the fly, I find an old plastic pitcher in John’s patio toy box to put the flowers in water for the time being. After awhile he strolls by and notices I’m using his pitcher. He has forgotten it, now remembers it.
“I need that pitcher,” he says.
“It’s not available right now,” I say. [clip clip]
“I need to use it.”
“It’s being used for something else.”
“Can I have it?”
“But I need it.”
“You’re not the only one.”
“I gave it to you.”
“So it’s mine.”
“Thank you for letting me use it.”
“I didn’t let … well now I need it.”
“It’s not available right now.”
Now in all likelihood he didn’t need it, and I knew it, and he knew I knew; he just wanted to reclaim what was his. In the end I convinced him that he was helping me out, which made him feel good and that’s the end of a win/win story.
John loves devilled eggs, especially the ones his grandma makes. For this reason, she always has them on hand when we visit and they are delicious. I don’t make them very often, especially since I learned mine aren’t as good as hers. Anyway, some years ago John is perched on his stool by the counter as I’m making dinner; he’s hungry and waxing sentimental.
“You should make devilled eggs,” he says.
“I’ll make them sometime.”
“They’re easy to make.”
“They take a little time.”
“I know how to make them,” he says, shooting up those earnest eyebrows.
“You know how to make devilled eggs?”
“Yep! You get that little yellow thing, that thing that’s goopy, you know? And you put paprika on top. And you need an egg.”
So there you have it; who knew it was that easy? And who knew the egg was an afterthought??
Now, I may not actually file that under “Recipes,” but it’s too good not to file away in my head. The truth is, John is one of my favorite people to talk with. We relate with honesty, humor, occasional sarcasm, moments of mutual exasperation, and affection. He keeps me on my toes and makes me laugh with the things he says almost every day. I couldn’t ask for better.