Brass monkeys should mind their ears.

“What kind of 8-year-old talks like that?” is often what I’ll be asked after someone has a conversation with my youngest child, son K.  And it’s true — he can converse with you the same way you might converse with your elderly neighbor, were you to meet said neighbor in the canned vegetable aisle at Shop-Rite or out by the mailbox collecting your zillionth ValPak envelope along with that week’s People. K’s always got a story to tell, and usually the telling of the story involves a cast of characters, vigorous hand gestures, and a variety of voices — all performed by K. His 2nd grade teacher found him charming — as does most everyone he meets — and reported that the whole class looked forward to hearing what stories K would share come Monday’s “circle time.”

He’s the guy you go to for the updates on everyone in the family. K’s interpretation of what’s been going on with us is usually accurate, and always entertaining. A sister sitting out a week of performing arts day camp made perfect sense to him, for example, because she was going to miss the final day (we were leaving on vacation) and thus the performance. Why would she go?, he reasoned — to go for four days and miss the final performance would obviously be, in his word, “pointless.”

When Grandma called (coincidentally) as they were arriving home from day camp and asked to speak to me, she was told, “Mom is home all day long but now she’s not here. She waits for us to get home from camp and then she goes out.” Ummm. Not really, but I can see how he would think that since I have to leave to pick up his sister at the same time that he gets off the camp bus!

K can hold up his end of a conversaton like few 8 years olds I know. It is not unusual for one of his friend’s mothers to tell me, “Boy, did I have a great talk with K today. That boy is hilarious! You should hear him talk about _____. He had us cracking up!” K can talk and talk and talk and talk — but you never get the sense that he’s talking to hear himself. He talks for the audience, be they a group of 8 year olds, the teachers at recess, or the contractor working on our addition. One of the most compelling things about K’s stories, I think, is that he is rarely telling tall tales. He’s Irish, yes, and has the blue eyes and silver tongue of generations of Irish before him, and yet his stories are always believable, and more interestingly, true. K hasn’t yet discovered the value of a bit o’ malarkey to keep an audience engaged; his ability to weave a tale — and his remarkable choice of vocabulary whilst telling his tales — have proven to be more than enough to keep his fans satisfied. (True, the majority are 8 year olds {and their teachers}, but still.)

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One Response to “Brass monkeys should mind their ears.”

  1. liz Says:

    I think he and Kate would get along famously. She’s only 4, but people tell me talking to her is like speaking with an adult.
    liz recently posted..Our Little Wolverine- Redux

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