The Story So Far, Again

A couple of weeks ago, Dante decided that he wanted to read some entries in his blog. This has happened before, and it’s fun. This time, though, he decided he wanted to read ALL the entries in his blog. He started at the end, and rewound post-by-post all the way back to the beginning. Since then, he’s been using the Random Post button to jump around in time. For instance, tonight he wanted me to read some of it with him, so we read Piglet! and Love And Affection and Don’t Mind If I Do. In the latter, he asked me to explain the Simpsons joke, so I did.

As a result, he’s re-living lots of childhood selves. He’s asked me to play games with him that we played when he was a baby. He asked Grandma to make him some rigatoni. Tonight he asked for extremely cold water with ice kuh-yoobs. It’s like he’s a greatest hits compilation of himself.

It’s a funny thing, having this artifact of his earlier stages (and mine too) for us both to revisit. He has an older perspective on the stories, but not yet an adult perspective. For instance, he apologized to me for his peanut questions in Trick Or Treat, Take Twelve, and when I asked him why, he said it was because he felt like he’d done something wrong. I explained to him that far from doing anything wrong, he was doing just the sort of thing we usually want him to do by watching out for peanuts, and that the story wasn’t about his behavior but rather about the somewhat absurd situation of this one weird night where suddenly the rules about asking for candy from strangers are suspended, but the social expectations remain in place, as do the allergies, and how you can’t really expect a 5-year-old to negotiate all that by himself. Also, I pointed out to him that the progression of the story was based on his success at learning something new from every encounter, and his sincere attempts to do what he was supposed to.

I have no idea where all this is coming from. Maybe it’s because he turned 9 last month, and the birthday put him in a retrospective frame of mind. It’s been quite a nostalgia trip, in any case. He even wanted to visit the park near our old house, where I used to take him for swings, sand, and derring-do. Now he scampers up those bump stairs without hesitation, zips on the zip line, and even climbs up twisty ladders that intimidated him as recently as this spring. It’s a wild juxtaposition, watching my 9-year-old Dante leaping over all his tinier ghosts, even as he recalls and imitates what remains of them as it got preserved here.

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