Another Class
Points of Reference

Another assignment

Just Barely Six

     Can you remember what it was like to be six?  Me neither, but spending time with Alexander was like a much needed breath of fresh air.  I watched him bounce from the school bus and thought that he must surely have springs on his feet.  When he reached the driveway, he turned and waved to his friends in such a nonchalant manner, that he appeared much older than just barely six.  As he strolled toward the house, his lips moved in a silent conversation with his unseen confidant, and I had to pretend that I hadn’t noticed.

     There is an odd sort of muscular contraction that happens to your heart in that instant when a child looks into your eyes and breaks into a grin.  I often wonder if they are privy to some marvelous secret that enables them to cast spells on unsuspecting adults.  Alex is no exception, although he is typical in all the observable ways.  His little head is covered with unruly hair, hair that is the exact color of corn husks in October’s afternoon sun, and there is a flickering of light that peeks out of his big brown eyes in obvious delight.  Red tee shirt, blue jeans, tennis shoes with little lights that flash when he walks, a Power Rangers back pack and lunch box, all come bounding toward me in a flurry of excitement.

     “Hi there kiddo, how was school?’

     “Good.”

     “Can I ask you some questions for a class I’m taking?”

     “Naw, I have to ride my two wheeler, while the sun is still up?”

     How can you argue with that?  At six, Alex knows what he wants to do, and that is what matters most at the moment.  I wonder how long it will be before he has to deal with trying to please everyone and the guilt of saying, “NO!”

     “We can make it like a game.  I can be a reporter and you can be…”

     “JASON!”

     “Okay, but who is Jason?”

     “The red one.  The red POWER RANGER, but only five.”

     “Five what, Jason?”

     “Five questions.”

     “I guess that I had better make every one count, then.  Okay, first, what do you think about politics?”

     “Uhm… What is it?”

     “Politics has to do with the government and running the country.”

     “Oh.  I don’t think about politics.”

     “Well then, how about religion?”

     “Uhm… What is religion?”

     “Religion has to do with God and spirituality.”

     “Oh.  I don’t think about religion.  I think about God helps us, and takes us to Heaven when we’re dead.”

     “Did you ever know anyone who died?”

     “My great-grandmother died, and my aunt Pee Wee, and Uncle Jim and my grandma, Mow-mow.  Did you know that Pee Wee died on my birthday?  That’s sad, huh?”

     “Did you know that your birthday is also Angel Day and that Pee Wee got her wings on your birthday, and that was a pretty special present?”

     Without batting an eye, he moved right into the next bit of information that he wanted to share without acknowledging the Wing Thing, but it seemed to be okay, so we moved on.

     “I brought home a note from Mrs. Robison.  I was disturbing the class.”

     “Why did you do that?  Did you want to make the other kids laugh?”

     “No, I just did.  I only like recess.  Nothing else.”

     “Okay, uhh, what would you like to be when you grow up?”

     “JASON!”

     “Why?”

     “To fight against EVIL, with Tommy, Billy, Trini, Kimberly and Zack.  I don’t like it when people are mean.  Bub made up a game called ‘fall apart’.  We blew up a lot of balloons and went in my Dad’s closet and fell apart and Dad was very mad!”

     “How did that make you feel?”

     “Bad.”

     “If you could go any place in the world, real or make believe, where would it be?”

     “Home, right here.”

     “Why?”

     “Just cause, A.J. and that’s all, I want to ride my two wheeler now.”

     “Okay, just one more thing, what do you think of your Aunt Jan?”

     “Uhm… I love her”, and with that he bounced off to more interesting adventures.

     I stood there watching him go and whispered, “I love you too Alexander!”

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