And then he was two, too

My Dearest Littler Prince,

How are you two already?  Where has the time gone?  And why is that we constantly find ourselves asking unanswerable questions about the passage of time?  For, surely, while these days have been lived, and lived well, there is no accounting for where they have gone…

You have come into your role as little brother in these past few months.  You know how to get under your brother’s skin and you often do so just to watch his reaction.  You laugh at his antics and egg him on, much as he does to you.  You hold your own, that’s for sure.  You adore him, too, of course.  You immolate the way you see him playing.  You parrot words back to him.  You ask for him first thing in the morning and then follow him around.

There has been a word explosion recently.  Counting.  Colors.  Names.  Your pronunciation of things still has a ways to go but you have no qualms about calling things out and asking for what you want and need, even as the Queen and I struggle to decipher the toddler code.

Oh, toddlerhood.  The triumphant return of the toddlerocracy under the rule of a new tyrannical toddler…  This is also a role you are quickly adapting to.  Demands and tantrums and making sure your whims or at least heard if not always catered to.  You had a good teacher in this, of course.  The Little Prince ruled the toddlerocracy well.  You, having taken over the prime position, will also do well.  Perhaps it is wishful thinking on our part, the Queen and myself, the Jester, to hope that your rule is shorter than your brothers…

I am excited to see you grow.  I am excited to watch you learn.  I am excited to see what the future has in hold for you, you bruiser, you jumper and climber, you explorer of all the things.

We used to say (and still do) that your brother doesn’t have a quiet bone in his body.  So far it seems that you don’t have a gentle bone in yours.  Not that you are mean and certainly not that you intend to be destructive.  You just are.  You are strong and boisterous and have no clear definition of personal space and that leads to bruises, mostly on the people around you.  You don’t need a splash zone so much as a bump zone.

You’ll get there.  You’ll get the hang of this life thing.  I have no doubt about that.  You are thriving and it is a joy to be along for the ride.

Love you,

Matticus, The Jester, Daddy

activist

He scrolled and scrolled and scrolled, drinking it all in with one eye on the clock in the bottom right corner.  He wasn’t supposed to be on the computer but his mom had gone to cook dinner and he knew he had a few minutes to check out the response to his latest posts.  He was something of an online star among his friends.  In truth, he was a star for most of the school but it was only his friends that knew he was the one behind the posts on the schools social platform.  At least, he hoped his friends weren’t telling anyone else.  He thought he could trust them but…  The rise to fame had been swift and he knew that the fall could go even faster.

His latest post was a scathing review of the school board meeting that had occurred the week before.  He hadn’t attended in person.  Hardly anyone actually went to the meetings anymore once they had started streaming them live online.  So, he watched on a tablet from his room while he was supposed to be sleeping, scribbling notes throughout that he turned into his rebuke the following day.  Two days later, after reviewing for content and clarity, and double checking some of the facts he had included to make his points more salient, he had posted the essay.

As expected, the replies from his fellow students were supportive in nature while the administration scrambled to provide a coherent  counter-argument.  They wouldn’t be able to, though, and the next day at school every social group would be abuzz talking about him.  Well, talking about the anonymous poster.  That was enough for now.  He didn’t really care about the fame aspect of it, anyway.  He was genuinely tired of the school using the “children” and the “needs of the children” to justify the ridiculous financial decisions they made.  He was tired of the watching them waste money that could be better used to actually support their students in meaningful ways.

Quickly closing the browser and then erasing the search history and related cookies, being careful to leave the trail of sites his mom had visited recently intact, he locked the computer and moved back to the tasks he was supposed to be doing while his mom cooked.  Riding high on yet another online victory, it was easy to finish his chores.

the watcher

A perfect web, symmetrical and flawless, stretched between the garage and exterior light.  The spider that had woven it hung nearby under the eaves of the garage waiting for day to turn to night.  Then it crawl down to its delicate creation and walk across to perch in the center and wait for its meal to arrive.  It was a process the little boy had watched for several dusks in a row.  He was captivated by the tiny creature.

The little boy was captivated by all sorts of creatures.  The spider that had adopted his garage was just the latest.  Before, he had watched a hummingbird build a nest in a tree in his backyard until eggs appeared and then hatched and the even tinier birds filled the next and grew and flew away.  Before that, he had watched a caterpillar build a chrysalis and then later break free and fly away as a butterfly.  It had danced in the breeze, graceful, beautiful, and then fluttered lifted up and over his yard’s wall and out of sight.

He had lots of time to sit and watch life.  The vantage point of his chair, his constant companion since the accident, gave him the perfect opportunity to observe, to learn.  At first he had hated the chair, of course.  It had been a prison cell, his punishment for the mistakes that had led to the accident.  Over time he had grown used to it, though, until he had become a part of him.  While that was happening he began to see things around him more clearly.  He never would have noticed the caterpillar if not for the chair.  He’d have been too busy running and jumping, climbing and swinging, dashing about in his normal frenzied play to have seen the slight movement, the less than a breeze stirring it created as it inched down the leaf.  But he had seen it and he had watched all that happened after.  That opened the whole world to him.

king

He was King.  Not by birthright.  Not by succession or election. But because he had worked for it, fought for it, scraped and kicked and gouged and won battle after battle as he ascended to the top, to the throne.  And there he sat, surveying his dominion, King of all he could see.

For the next fifteen minutes or so, anyway, until recess was over.

Then he would have to earn it all over again the next time his class raced out to the play structure.

He was looking forward to it.

stealth

The kingdom is full of ninjas.  Full.  Of.  Ninjas.

One minute you are alone in the room and then you look over your shoulder and there is someone standing there watching you.  You jump.  Your heart stops for a second.  Time stands still and your life flashes before your eyes for this is the moment of your doom…

What happens next depends on which ninja it is.

If it is one of the cat ninjas, they usually lick a paw and then walk away as quietly as they arrived, content in the knowledge that they could have destroyed you if they didn’t have more pressing matters, like a nap.

If it is a baby ninja, however, all bets are off.  Chaos and adventure will likely ensue.  What else would you expect from a baby ninja?

So quiet.  So stealth.  Appearing as if from thin air.  Yet still capable of absolute devastation…

It is truly remarkable I have lasted this long.

How much longer will my luck hold?

I may need reinforcements…  Any volunteers out there?