Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Way a Boy Thinks

For some reason, perhaps because I just finished reading "The Last Lecture" or because I'm doing so much midlife introspection, I have been thinking about the things The Boy used to say when he was young. There were really cute things and some not so cute things.

A big one for him was, "Boys don't have to match." This was in response to his sister's accusation that he was breaking all the fashion rules. I think she screamed something like, "Mooooom! The Boy's wearing a red tank top and blue booty shorts!" After I came to the rescue for my young Stacy London, I said, "Son, your clothes don't match," to which he replied the now famous Boy-ism.

One thing that got him into trouble was when he told his sister that she couldn't do the same things as he because she was a girl. Big problem with that one. I told him never to say, "You can't do that because you're a girl," or else he'd never get anywhere in this world (certainly not with me!). He listened.

We were filming a home movie on a hill that overlooked Puget Sound one summer afternoon. The kids were playing, and we were talking about how much we would love to buy one of the home lots up there. I decided to try to interject something for posterity into that video. I asked my daughter what she wanted to be, to which she replied, "A paleontologist!" She was 9. I turned to The Boy and asked the same question (he was 6). "I want to be a butterfly catcher," he said as he chased little white butterflies around in the tall grass. It was a great reminder for me to not try to plan too far ahead.

A couple of years later, though, he began to mull over what he might want to be, his profession. I don't remember the exact day or moment when he said this, but I'll never forget him saying, "When I grow up, I want to be a popular mechanic." I guess what he perceived the magazine, Popular Mechanics, to be about was mechanics (people) who were popular. Not the standard interpretation, but we enjoyed his version. From that day forward, he decided he would be that. Eventually it changed into engineering, but he still had his sights set on his dream.

Now he is enrolled in the mechanical engineering program (double major in math) at U of MD. He has many, many friends of all ages, races, nationalities, and temperament. I guess, after all, he became a popular mechanic.

Gotta love that boy and his wonderful Asperger's mind.

Peace - D


Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

That is too cute! Bill Cosby and Art Linkletter got it right about kids saying the darndest things. :)

Jay said...

That post brought back some memories. Once, when my brother was young and in the Cub Scouts, something had seriously upset him and he burst into tears. Mum told him that 'Cubs don't cry!' and he said 'This one does!'

I just love the independent thinking of small boys. The rules just don't apply to them... I guess that's why they get into so much trouble!

'Boys don't have to match' - that's so sweet! As for 'Popular Mechanic', that's even sweeter, especially as he now seems to be one. Good for him!

the walking man said...

I was a mechanic and popular as well, especially at 3 am when a friend broke down and was too cheap to pay for AAA. Now that I am a butterfly catcher the things that wind up in the net are ever more interesting.

RiverPoet said...

CMGD - Indeed they do!

Jay - I like that! "This one does!" That sounds like something my boy would have said.

Walking Man - Thanks for dropping by! Ah yes, mechanics can indeed be popular when friends break down. My son has installed 3 or 4 stereo systems for friends, and has helped with various breakdowns. And he isn't even "that" kind of mechanic, just handy!

Peace - D

Hilary said...

Wonderful stuff! I used to write down all of the little "isms" that my kidlets said through the years and write a letter to them each year on their birthdays which included those quotes. I've blogged about each of them at some point last year. Those lines are irresistible!

Your popular mechanic made me think of a little girl that was in my son's junior kindergarten class some 17 years ago. The teacher asked each child what they wanted to be when they grew up. There were doctors, power rangers, nurses, police and firefighters.

This little 4 year old girl stood up and said "When I grow up, I'm going to be a woman."

Who could argue with that?

Akelamalu said...

Oh don't you just love some of the things they come out with? Children are a never ending source of amusement! :) I'm so glad your son is realising his dream!

RiverPoet said...

Hilary - Wow, that girl had very sound logic, and I'm sure that she met that goal! Great idea to write those things down. For me, they just stuck in my head. I know that there were more, but they are lost to the past.

Akela - He is definitely doing that! Definitely...

Peace - D