4 Jan 2008
Really, Really Old
B boy and I were walking behind the rest of the family on our recent visit to the beautiful city of York in England. We pretty much always make up the tail end of a group. Benjamin has little legs, so he walks slowly.
And he likes to talk.
I often wish he'd speak clearer, so I wouldn't have to stop and bend down to hear him, but mostly, I just enjoy his chattering. He'll make comments about people he sees, things that happened at school that day, and even events from years ago that he's suddenly remembered. Everything with infectious enthusiasm and usually with a slightly cheeky undercurrent.
We don't get anywhere quickly with B boy onboard, but the journey is almost always amusing.
And then there's times when his innocence just slays me. Like that day in York. As we crossed a busy street, I was pulling and tugging on him to hurry up. Those little legs were moving even slower than normal, and definitely not as quickly as the flow of traffic.
Because Benjamin had spotted the ruined remnants of an old stone building. Except to him it was simply a house with no roof, and he absolutely could not understand why there was a house with no roof in the middle of York.
"It's just an old, old house, B boy, I'm sure it's protected," I said.
"How old?" he asked.
"Hundreds and hundreds of years old," I answered absent-mindedly, still trying to get us across the road safely.
"I get it. As old as black-and-white TV, right?" said my genius boy.
I almost stopped in the middle of the street, but managed to get us across to the other side of the intersection before replying:
"No, even older than that. Many hundreds of years old."
"Oh, back from the dinosaur age, then," he declared with total insight.
Which is when I swore to myself never to tell B boy that our first black-and-white TV was bought after I was born. Never, ever!