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"He even appreciates some of my taller tales, but not nearly as much as he loves his video games."

My grandson skitters around the floor at my feet. We were talking about going for a hike, but thunder snow moved in before we could get clear of the door. We went out in the backyard to play for a spell, but he just wanted to throw snowballs at me. Fortunately, he's a lousy shot. I fired back until my hands went numb, he taunting me from the deck above, me feeling like so much cannon fodder far below. I finally begged off the excursion and we came back inside where he took up with his new StarWars set, a Lego toy that, much to his continuing delight, shoots little light blue projectiles. He's been flying the Millennium Falcon around the house for a couple of hours now, with no sign of exhaustion yet.

Of course he's a little angel, though not nearly as little or as angelic as he was just a couple of years ago.
Now, when tiredness, boredom, or hunger overtakes him, he's apt to show an underlying meanness, eyes hardly slits. As I confided to my son this morning, six year olds haven't quite grasped the concept or practice of remorse yet. They seem perfectly capable of exhibiting both the lightest as well as the darkest of hearts. He's learning every minute of every day, and learning necessarily involves making mistakes like steadfastly refusing to admit that he's ever made a mistake.

I struggle to remember myself at his age, but I could swear I was never nearly as headstrong as he seems to be. He might be smarter than I was at that age, though he possesses a different kind of smarts than I have any experience with. He's mechanical. I'm not. I asked for his counsel when mending a sled yesterday and though he admitted to no experience mending with duct tape, he quickly caught on to what needed doing and managed to smooth the tape without tangling it up like I usually do. The snow wasn't quite as sled-able as he'd presumed and had the neighbor kids not shown up to lend better sleds, there's really no telling where his temper might have propelled him.

He's absolutely enthralled by his tablet and the games he plays. He could easily be placed in suspended animation for the next millennia or so had his dad not maintained very strict usage rules. Even then, the little guy almost boils over whenever he's timed out on the machine. We try to distract him then, but he's growing increasingly on to our game and mostly immune to it now. He lives in a truly fantastic world, one largely of his own construction. His certainties astound and sometimes offend me. I'm of an age now where I rarely take sleights from a six year old very seriously. By the end of the day, he's usually gone all cherubic again however devilish he became before. He likes my mac and cheese, which buys him a lot around my house. He even appreciates some of my taller tales, but not nearly as much as he loves his video games.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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