Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Old Soul That's Young At Heart


B has been referred to (so many times that I have lost track) as an old soul.

And he is.

As an example, the other night, while driving home, I mentioned to the kids that the moon was really pretty.  B looked at it, then said to me and his sister, "That is a harvest moon."  I got home, tucked the kids into bed and walked into the dining room to share with Steven that B had stated that he thought the moon was a harvest moon.  We both laughed at a 6 year old even knowing the term "Harvest Moon" and chalked it up, yet again, to the 80 year old living inside our 6 year old son.  However, an hour later, while watching the evening news, our mouths flew open as we heard the meteorologist comment on the harvest moon that was gracing our night sky that very evening.

Also, the other day, while Steven and I were talking about a tree that was dying in the yard, B interceded and commented that "bag worms are really bad this year".

These things make him funny, and unique, and interesting and concerned beyond his years.  I am gifted daily with bits and pieces of information from my child that continues to reveal to me who he is.  And who he is going to be.

I knew he was different than most kids early on. 

His interests were not the same as theirs.

He wanted to know how, and why, things worked.  He wanted to offer up ideas as to how it would be better.  He wanted to do so many things that I can't even offer a clear view of him with my written words.

However, much like many boys (and girls) his age, he was captivated by the movie Cars. 

However, what he took away from the movie seemed to be somewhat different.

First, he was immediately drawn to Route 66 and any historical information pertaining to it.  As young as 3, he would sit contentedly watching a PBS documentary about the "mother road".  He listened intently and took note of the changes in society and the mindset of individuals that brought about this stretch of highway, and also the changes and mindset that was, eventually, its demise.  He spoke with great concern about these with us.

At age 4, not surprisingly, on the heels of his sister's room receiving a makeover, B begged for his room to be changed too.  Route 66, of course, would be the theme.  Gone was the cowboy decor that he had since birth and in it's place a different era would set up shop.

Of course, what is a Route 66 room without a BIG Route 66 sign?

Although trying to figure out how to make this happen was almost the death of me, I ended up getting a sheet of 4 x 4, 1/4" sheet of wood and used a projector to transfer the image onto the wood by tracing it with a marker.  My mom cut it out for me with a jigsaw. 

And then I started painting.

And then, with my son as the foreman, I tried to get the sign as old and "rusty" looking as I could.  Although I stopped short of it looking "rusty enough", B could tell that his momma was close to throwing in the towel and he finally agreed that it was "OK".



Of course, road signs were necessary.  B actually found two at my mom and dad's that had been drug out of the gravel bed after being washed down the river during a time of flooding.  They were beat up, missing some paint and beginning to rust.  In short, for him, they were perfect.

We hauled them home and realized that objects in the bedroom are much larger than they appear in the rearview mirror.

Although he had his heart set on using real, old signs, I won the argument that they would not work when I expressed the fear that if they fell down off of the wall they might smash him in his bed.

Sure.  It was a scare tactic.  But it was also true.

So we settled for smaller signs that we found on ebay.

When we opened their packages, B just looked at them and then at me and stated that I needed to make them look old.

He wanted nothing to do with bright and shiny.


Since bright and shiny was not an option in B's book, the replica gas pumps were perfect.




Also perfect?  The clock.

As the room started coming together, it was more and more obvious that it was a much better representation of B than the cowboy room was.  We wanted to add memories to the room.  Memories of us traveling a portion of Route 66 that we hadn't traveled before.

So we added pictures.



And we also included pictures of portions of Route 66 that we travel nearly every single day, but since B's interest, now looked at with renewed appreciation.


We have encouraged this interest of B's and have watched him soak up the history that he has learned at museums, in books, and on film - there are many lessons to be learned from the past.

Interestingly enough, I believe that B latched onto the lesson inadvertantly taught by, ahem, Mater, and has embraced that fully.

He didn't walk away with a desire to have a car like Lightning McQueen, but instead fell deeply in love with our 1973 rusted out Ford feed truck.

Actually, and more specifically, he fell in love with anything that was rusted, old, or terribly in need of some TLC.  He sees what they were, and what they could be.

He sees these things as perfect.  And desirable.  And under appreciated.

In fact, he even had me take his picture while he sat on the hood of the rusted out truck and exclaimed, "I LOVE this truck!".


I'd like to say that I appreciate the beauty of this ole' truck too, but I'd be lying.

But I can say, without reservation, that a million times a day I appreciate the beauty of the little guy sitting on the hood.