Jake’s explanation was simple. He said: “My finger slipped.” However, when the sound of: “And they call it puppy love” filtered out through my iPhone, he immediately had a grin on his face from ear-to-ear. With a couple of teeth missing from his mouth, the smile on his face looked more precocious than one might expect from an eight year old.
I guess it would help if I explained the setting. In the dark of the night, we seemingly were in the middle of nowhere. My son had stationed his new fire pit close to the pond on their property. I guess we live in an age where you can personalize almost anything. Even the sculpted metal fire pit had “FORRESTER” cut out of the metal on two sides.
Jake was excited. Last night was the first night to actually have a fire in the fire pit since it had been purchased. The strategic placement of the fire pit represented a serene setting for outdoor conversation, unwinding, removing one’s thoughts from the stress of the day and subsequently looking at the snow moon and lunar eclipse. I’m not really sure how the snow moon came to have that designation. It certainly wasn’t cold enough for snow. For that matter, it really wasn’t cold enough for a fire in the fire pit. Getting back to the moon, there were moments where it totally disappeared behind the clouds.
Actually, my reference to unwinding and carrying on conversation around the fire pit weren’t thoughts Jake associated with the evening. The only thing it represented for him was an opportunity to roast marshmallows and eat smores. Those were the thoughts that brought delight to his mind.
Every setting, whether inside or out, represent opportunity for Jake to engage in conversation. The boy is a talker. He also likes to sing. When the fire was ablaze, Jake broke out into singing the Johnny Cash song, “Ring of Fire”. By happenstance, I had the song on my iPhone. As the sound of the man in black emerged, that precious grin reappeared on his face with a couple of teeth missing.
Of course, at the age of eight, the absence of a couple of teeth doesn’t seem unusual or out of place. However, it can be the source of confusion. On Wednesday night Jake got hit in the mouth while playing basketball at school. In a response to the pain, he immediately covered his mouth with both hands. The referee stopped the game and went to provide assistance. Looking in Jake’s mouth he ascertained that Jake’s tooth had been knocked out. Apparently, the crowd in the stands had that same thought. There was a peck of something white on the gym floor. “It’s over there” was the articulated by many. From Jake’s perspective, it was a big ado about nothing. In response, Jake got a free shot and made the point.
Jake was the only grandkid at home on Friday night. Both his older siblings were out on the town. I guess that’s one way to describe a dance for the sixth and seventh graders. It seemed a bit much for me. I don’t remember any sixth grade dances. Actually, I’m not sure I remember any dances at all. Did I mention I don’t know how to dance?
I asked Jake permission to share his story in my blog. Earlier he had said there was a girl in his class that liked him. When asked how he knew, he responded: “Her people got with my people and they let me know.” Where does this kid come up with stuff like that?
Eventually, in the course of conversation and rounds and rounds of: “I fell into to a burning ring of fire”, I opted to change the music on my iPhone. Scrolling through my choices, I selected an album from Celtic Thunder. Jake likes their music. I handed him my phone and the next thing I heard was: “And it’s only puppy love”. He grinned from ear to ear and quickly said: “My finger slipped.” The smile on his face led me to believe otherwise.
Speaking of smiles, his older brother and sister were smiling when they got home from the dance. Jenna didn’t have a date, but young William invited a girl to be his date. Unlike the younger brother who said: “Her people let my people know she liked me”, he opted to take a more proactive role. Why leave things to chance? There was no passing notes or negotiating someone else extending the invitation. He simply said: “I walked up to her like a man and asked if she’d like to go to the dance.”
I was surprised when William also gave me permission to share his story. So how many dances did he dance? He opted for one dance. In his own defense, he said they really only played about four songs that were slow enough to dance the Texas Two Step. When it comes to dancing, he is a one-dance kind of guy. Perhaps I should entitle my blog: “Save The Last Dance For Me”.
All My Best!