Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The power of imagination (and memory)

My eight-year-old brought a new friend home the other day. He seemed like a nice kid. Polite, respectful, no tattoos. However, the reality remains that I work from home, and right now, I'm a bit more on edge than usual, pushing to complete some major revisions for The Silver Compass.

That said, when my son and his friend came downstairs, I swiveled in my desk chair to explain that they had to be quiet. However, this time my son put up a hand and said he would handle it. Here's the conversation that followed:

"Look, my mom's working and she's under pressure and stress and strain so we gotta be quiet if we're playing downstairs."

"What's she working on?" the new kid whispered.

"She's writing a book."

Long drawn out "W-o-w!"

A few seconds passed.
Then my son lowered his voice and said, "She's actually a retired superhero. She used to walk into big crowds and read minds and tell the police who they should arrest. She would concentrate real hard and then she would point to some plain looking guy and say, 'If you check his pockets you'll find the missing diamonds.'"

The new kid leaned past my son and stared at me. "Does she still read minds?" he whispered.

Slow sad shake of my son's head. "All the time."

Long pause, followed by a whispered, "Let's play outside, okay?"

On their way past my desk, my eight-year-old winked at me
and his friend shot me a skeptical look. It made my day. First, that my son remembered that crazy I'm-a-retired-superhero-who-used-to-read-minds-for-the-FBI story I had told him three or four years ago, and secondly that he had reiterated it to this kid to help clear the house out and give me some much needed peace and quiet.


ORION said...

OMG!!! I thought I was going to choke on my coffee I laughed so hard!!!!
Read minds?
I wish I had thought of that when my son was young...

Heidi the Hick said...

That is so awesome!!!!

Do you mind if I use that? I had a week where I had a rotating batch of kids going up and down the street. Not only can I still not relate to this--I grew up in the country and NEVER had a neighbour kid showing up to play--but I was trying to write!

Your boy has quite the brain there. I'm glad he's using his brain power for good rather than evil!!

Anissa said...

That's great! I love it! You have quite the little guy there, Holly. I'm sitting here grinning and thinking about that little wink.

wordman17 said...

Coffee up my nose!!!
You told your kid that story?
Ha! I would luv to tlak with your kids and find out what else you tell them.
Fun story.
Good kid control.
Happee writing.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome kid!

Makes me wonder though...what did his friend have in his pockets??

Larramie said...

Your youngest son...how I *love* him. ;)

The Anti-Wife said...

What a great story and how funny that he remembered it so well. Wish I could have seen the other kid's face.

kyla-dale said...

What a cutie your little guy is!!!

Pretty quick isn't he?

And yes, I agree with the post above. It does make yah wonder what that other kid was hiding (not that every kid on the planet doesn't have a host of secrets to hide!!!)

Travis Erwin said...

It's always good to know they listen to something you say.

And he might just be a budding author himself.

Kim Stagliano said...

That is the greatest story ever. Ever. It has to go into one of your books!

Melissa Marsh said...

That is hilarious, Holly! And what a sweet son you have. He truly understands and appreciates what you do for a living. You raised him right! :-)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Would your kid be available to teach my kids a thing or two???

Dianne in Winnipeg said...

Holly, OMG, I can "see" him winking like that soooooo easily!!!
That kid kills me. Always has.

Anonymous said...

Post a few more about your boys!
I know some that'd have everybody rolling. Think duct tape, Hol, or what about your adjustment to being a stepmom when you first moved to WPG, or what about the time you chopped a hole in R's sweatpants?!!

Old buddy from Winnipeg

mcewen said...

Priceless. Lucky you!

M. G. Tarquini said...

You mean you don't really read minds for the police?

Holly Kennedy said...

Pat -- a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do to keep her kids in line, and this actually worked for about a month when they were maybe 5 and 6 yrs old. They were sooooooo well behaved that month *sigh*

Heidi -- Go for it. Because we know our kids so well, even when we 'guess' at what they're thinking, we usually nail it, huh?

Anissa -- I'm not sure how old he was when he started doing that little mischievous wink, but it flattens me every time.

Wordman17 -- See first comment.
Kid control is necessary or us parents would quickly be committed.

Holly Kennedy said...

Seeley -- I agree with you.
BTW, what contest did you win, place or show in? I don't think you told me but I'm sure you mentioned it. Congrats either way!!

Larramie -- Yup, he's a keeper!

Anti-wife -- I'm bracing for the teenage years with this one's quick brain. I have a feeling he's gonna keep me on my toes.

Holly Kennedy said...

Kyla-dale -- Thanks for stopping in! Kids always have secrets, don't they? But then again, who doesn't?

Travis - Nope. This one says he's not interested in writing books.
Too much work, he says. Too much stress! He's dead on.

Kim - Great idea. I'll make a note!

Melissa - He hates seeing me stressed (what kid doesn't, huh?) but I love that he's so empathetic.

Holly Kennedy said...

Susan -- Kid for hire! What a great idea you've got there.

Dianne -- That wink DOES make me smile, even when it's the worst day at my end.

Anonymous -- Sssshhhh! The duct tape story is tempting, though.
Another day.

Mcewen -- Thanks for stopping in to read my post :)

Mindy -- Not anymore.
I'm RETIRED, remember?!

Zany Mom said...

My almost 9-yr-old son laughed when I told him that story. Of course, every time I laugh at what I read on the computer he wants to know what I'm laughing at.

Your kid's a character, for sure. Like mother like son, I'm guessing...

Anonymous said...

It was an honourable mention in the Stroke of Midnight contest (sponsored by the Passionate Ink chapter of the RWA).


Kate S said...

Oh, that's great! LOL

Maryanne said...

That's a very cute story.

What else have you told
your kids that isn't 100%

Bernita said...

This post is sheer joy.
Much nicer than the "Eyes of Death" attributed to me by my kids.

debra said...

Retired super-hero, and mind-reader, too . Wow!!!! Great story!bluedoggy

spyscribbler said...

Oh wow, oh wow! I give it a 65% chance that he's going to grow up and write novels one day.

And boy, was that funny! He's clever!