I’m feeling so lucky these days to be River’s mom. He is such a joy to be with. Last night we went to our CSA and he happily amused himself in the rows of tomato plants, pulling off cherry tomatoes and popping them into his mouth, while I filled a box with tomatoes. He insisted on using the shears to cut the flowers and does a surprisingly good job at it. On the way home, we sang the ABCs in Spanish while “drumming” on the seats. And he asked me what just about every sign we passed said – putting my translation skills to the test as I tried to translate things like “All traffic to the right” or “Pedestrian crossing” into Spanish. He commented upon the various states of fall leaves and which ones were turning which colors. He told me the trees have eyes and noses and feet. He thought it was so cool that one house had its house number on its mailbox and the same number on a nearby light post. Just the fact that he notices and appreciates these things brings the world to life for me.
I’m in what I expect will be a very brief period in which I appear intelligent to him. As he talked about the trees having feet, I told him about roots, and about how they pull in water to the trees and the leaves pull in sunlight. “Si, si,” he said, taking in the information, accepting it, storing it away for future use, and probably thinking that mom must really know what she’s talking about.
I don’t know much beyond that. Something about chlorophyll and photosynthesis, but I’d have to look it up to talk to him about it. I was stumped when he asked me the name of the various farming tools and tilling equipment we walked by last night. I became nervous when he started to point to various objects we passed in the car and asked me what they were. I suddenly felt my Spanish vocabulary was lacking.
However, he gives me the chance to look it up and seems to think that is normal. While brushing his teeth the other day, he asked me what gums were and I couldn’t remember in Spanish. I looked it up in the dictionary (encias), told him a bit later, and he thought that was cool.
I feel acceptance, love and respect from him. We have a good time together and a mutual partnership in learning and teaching. While I teach him how things work, he teaches me new ways to look at and relate to our surroundings. Like the flowers, plants and trees we spend so much time observing and discussing, every day the little experiences, discussions and observations add to his soil and he grows taller, wiser and more confident.