Thursday, October 22, 2009


Last night, Martin decided to play with my hair. He pulled it up, messed with it, wrapped it around my face. After concentrating on placing a few strands in the right place, he looked at me and said, "Now, you are George Washington." I initially interpreted this statement as one more dose of Martin nonsense. Then I realized that he was trying to get my hair to look like Washington's hairdo on a particular set of flashcards. I played dumb and asked him to keep going. He moved my hair around a bit and said, "Now you are John Adams."

Over the course of 15 minutes, he moved my hair around in the style of the 44 presidents. Some of the highlights included Andrew Jackson's severe updo, Rutherford Hayes' beard, and Bill Clinton's nearly feathered look. The best moment was the transition to Woodrow Wilson. "One moment, Mama, I need to get something," he said. Martin ran to his dress-up box and returned with a pair of sunglasses. He placed them on my face. He looked at me, puzzled, something still wasn't right. He put his hands on the side of his face, squished his cheeks, and pressed his lips together. "Mama, just go like this." I followed his instructions. Then Martin quietly moved on to Warren G. Harding.

If I take the time to look, I often find patterns and order in Martin's seemingly random actions and words. Why does he want 6 pieces of pepperoni? Because last time he had 6 and he remembers it quite specifically. Why does he refuse to take turns playing the autoharp with other kids in Sunday school? Because he remembers the order they went in the week before and this week's is different.

Maybe I'm strange for letting all of these details slip by, rather than tucking them away in my brain. Or maybe Martin and I are just different from each other and neither of us has to considered all that strange.

1 comment:

  1. Jen, you are an amazing mother...I don't know if you hear it often enough...but you really are! Martin and Sasha are very blessed children. -Jeanine