Wednesday, September 04, 2013

What Jack Taught Me about Jack

My son Jack is 7 years old right now.  Since he turned four, he has been a rambunctious, single-minded, and high-energy child.  In Spanish, we might say that he is ensimismado, meaning that he's all caught up in himself and what he's doing and what he wants to do.  That can be incredibly frustrating to a parent, or to a sibling.

He wants to play all of the time, and he will scatter toys and things from hell to breakfast if we let him.  If the house is quiet, we get nervous because that usually means he's concentrating on something intently, which often means a mess, his playing with water inside, or some other potential mess.  Some days he's the sweetest most innocent and caring child there is.  And then some days he's oblivious to what's going on around him.  He'll probably grow out of it, but today, as I was listening to Spotify, the White Stripes song "We're Going to Be Friends" came on, and the lyrics made me realize that I've forgotten what the innocence of childhood feels like.  I got a little teary thinking that this is how Jack Williams's mind works.  Had Jack White not penned these lines, I wouldn't have had this moment of reflection and understanding of how little Jack must feel.

Thank you, Jack White.  Thank you, Jack Williams.

Fall is here, hear the yell
back to school, ring the bell
brand new shoes, walking blues
climb the fence, books and pens
I can tell that we're going to be friends

Walk with me, Suzy Lee
through the park and by the tree
we will rest upon the ground
and look at all the bugs we found
safely walk to school without a sound
safely walk to school without a sound

Here we are, no one else
we walked to school all by ourselves
there's dirt on our uniforms
from chasing all the ants and worms
we clean up and now its time to learn
we clean up and now its time to learn

Numbers, letters, learn to spell
nouns, and books, and show and tell
at playtime we will throw the ball
back to class, through the hall
teacher marks our height against the wall
teacher marks our height against the wall

We don't notice any time pass
we don't notice anything
we sit side by side in every class
teacher thinks that I sound funny
but she likes the way you sing

Tonight I'll dream while in my bed
when silly thoughts go through my head
about the bugs and alphabet
and when I wake tomorrow I'll bet
that you and I will walk together again
I can tell that we're going to be friends

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