Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spit

My son Lefty has a big head. Like huge. And hard. This would have been a useful fact to know BEFORE I delivered him. Rather, I instead unwittingly answered the age-old question of whether it's possible to have a foot touching both coastlines of the continental U.S. simultaneously. Yes it is. Thank you, son. (Editorial comment: Lefty was not the big-headed child to whom I was referring in my open letter to Perfect Mommies.  He is so cute that you want to bite him and sweet and brilliant but Kate is right, the boy has a cabeza muy grande. - Lydia )

I assume, therefore, that what lies within that cavernous sized head is an extraordinarily large brain.  When he was born, and the doctors did those measurements that compared every kid according to some size ratio, my initial reaction was, "well, someone clearly needs to rework the numbers."  He was in the 40th percentage on height, 60th on weight, and 722nd on head size.  He weighed 7 lbs 8 oz at birth, of which, I'm pretty sure, 7 lbs 2 oz was head.  He couldn't walk until nearly 16 months because he was so cranium-heavy (imagine a human bobble-head).

I gave birth to Charlie Brown. 

Hats never fit. When he puts on a bike helmet, he looks like Kazoo. And turtlenecks? Really, it's like having the Cirque de Soliel contortionists in my very own home. Protesting contortionists.  Recreating childbirth. To this day I can win arguments with him by saying "you go clean up your room, little man or I am getting out a turtleneck and you will put it on!"

Anyhow, my point was rather on the very large brain that I hope resides in that very roomy skull.  And, with it, at the ripe old age of 6, Lefty is quickly learning to out-think me.  Making counterarguments that are both logical and oddly compelling.  And irritate the hell out of me, because, hello, I. Am not. Supposed. To lose. A debate. With my 6-year old.  The fact that I see it as a debate (rather than a NON-debate) furthers that irritation.  He's Clarence Darrow in feety-pajamas.  And I am now forced to walk around my house carrying a turtleneck, just in case.

Sunday at church, we had a baptism. Lefty watched in what I thought was awe. Silent. Serious. Just like he does with me right before he turns into Atticus Finch. The instant church was over, he bee-lined for the minister. With questions. A lot of them.

"Why do you use water?" "Did Jesus use water?" "Because it was like washing away sins?" "But he didn't hafta use water right?"

I knew it was coming. The clincher. The logic that defies expectation, that you never saw coming. The non-debate debate that leaves you dumbstruck and wishing for a turtleneck. I wanted to rescue our minister before the web Lefty weaved had caught him. But if he got trapped, that meant I wasn't a complete idiot all by myself. That I'd have idiot company.

Welcome to the club, padre, here it comes: "Well, he could cure people when they touched him right? Why did he need water? He was holy. He could just spit on them. Holy spit."

Which was almost exactly what I was thinking the instant he said it. Almost.

Holy Spit.

Then, just in case we weren't quite clear, he demonstrated: "I baptize you" thwack! "in the name of" splat! "me and my dad and the holy ghost." ptooey!
"I'm gonna go get a donut hole and a lemonade. I'm thirsty. I bet Jesus was thirsty, too. Spitting on everyone all the time."

And Clarence Darrow left the room.

Our sweet, kind, bespectacled minister looked over at me. I shrugged my shoulders. He's totally not going to join my club.

And, I'm pretty sure there's a turtleneck in someone's future.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. - 2009

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