More snapshots. His pictures, my words. Well, some of his words too, actually. But there's attribution.
**He stared at the television as an Ambien commercial droned "Risk of suicide may increase," and I wondered what I would say if he asked about suicide. Instead, he said "If I need help sleeping, I try to dream about you. And dolphins."**
**I needed him to be ready to go by 8:30. I asked him at 7:30 to put on his socks and shoes. 7:45, nothing. "David, put your shoes on," I repeated. "Okay," he replied with total sincerity, and continued reading his comic book. 7:55, 8:10, still no progress. "David!" I said, getting heated now. "Socks! Shoes! Now!" "Okaaaay!" he said, disgusted with me for getting heated when this was clearly the first time I'd asked him. I got everything else ready. At 8:30, one sock was on. "DAVID, I WANT YOU TO PUT YOUR SOCK AND SHOES ON RIGHT NOW!" "Mooooom!" he cried, crushed that I was yelling at him for absolutely no reason. We left at 8:37. His shoes were unfastened.**
**He hunched low in the corner of our yard, inching ever closer to our resident black widow. He'd already gotten a shot of the female and male together. He just barely captured a close-up shot of her front legs before she scurried lightning-quick into a crack in the wall. "Spooky," he said, but he was grinning, and he stuck around until she reappeared.**
**He completed a math worksheet in record time, except for the last problem, which asked him to write out how he would use simple subtraction to help him solve the tougher problems. "I wouldn't," he finally wrote. "They're all too easy."**
**When I picked him up from school his face was stained with a tear streak through a thin layer of dirt. I wanted to make it better right away, but no. Something about kids at his table being mean and him trying to help someone; someone else yelling and the substitute teacher being too distracted to notice. We went out to play, even though it was well above a hundred. Much sweat, more dirt, a few piles of sand, a mercilessly unending game of tag and a hummingbird encounter later, I had managed to make it better.**
**While contemplating wildlife viewing he told me, loudly enough for everyone else who was entering school that day to overhear, "I really want to see a beaver in real life. I'd be the luckiest guy in the world, if I could see a beaver up close!"**
**As we walked to the car after school, two vultures leisurely circled above us, their primaries fanned like dainty fingers smoothing the sky. "Those are turkey vultures," he announced to anyone who would listen. One woman stopped and asked him to tell her more, listening carefully, and not condescendingly, as he imparted his knowledge. He strutted the rest of the way to the car.**