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Friday, December 18, 2009

Connor the wonderkid

I thought that I would score some extra space on my flight from Atlanta to Sarasota, but Connor the wonderkid walked into my life. His mom didn't seem to mind dropping him off alone at row 14 on her way to her own seat in the very back of the plane. I helped him take off his Transformers light-up backpack and he settled into the middle seat between me and a less-than-pleasant elderly lady. He told me it was his twentieth time flying and he was going to visit Grandpa. Amongst other things he told me...

“I only had a half day at school. We watched the Polar Express and ate lunch in our classroom.”
“Oh", I said, "eating lunch in class is way better than in the cafeteria."
“How do you know we have a cafeteria?! Do you go to my SCHOOL?!”
I should have said yes. He was 6 years old and beautiful. His bright gray eyes were framed with long black eyelashes above an extremely boogery nose and constant smile showing the littlest baby teeth I’ve ever seen. He was LOUD. And FUNNY. He started out by teaching me about all the superhuman toys he played with:

“This one’s name is Bomination. He steals people’s hearts and rips them out of their bodies and turns it into liquid solids and pours it into a truck to get power and the truck is made out of legos. Maybe I should stick something in my eyeball.”

I discouraged the idea. But he still let me play with his toys.
“Do you play with toys?”
“Yeah.”
“Boy toys?”
“Ha. No.”
(grinning) “Is this your first time?”
“Yeah”
“It’s my hundred millionth time. My sister plays with girl toys. Do you play with girl toys?
“Yeah.”
“Like what?”
“Computers and clothes and makeup and coffee and books.”
“Oh. My sister plays with her girl toys. Babies and stuff.”
“Yeah, those are more fun for girls.”
“Why?! You can’t destroy anything with BABIES!”

We had so many good talks:

“One time I swallowed a flashlight. They put it down my throat.”
“Did they find anything in your stomach?”
“Yeah. Chewed up rice.”
“Oh. They weren’t looking for anything in particular?”
“Yeah.”
“What were they looking for?”
“A ribbon with a staple on it. But the ribbon melted in my stomach. Wanna know what happened to the staple?”
“What?”
“I can’t tell you. It’s gross.”
...
“Yesterday at school I boogeyed DOWN! You know those things with the lights that make the ground different colors and they're covered in sparkles?”
“They’re called disco balls. Did you have a dance at school?”
“Yeah. The president of my school boogeyed down too! You look different than my teacher. She has longer hair than you and a bigger face than you. You know those spots you have all over your face?”
“You mean my freckles?”
“Yeah. Do grown-ups get those?”
“Sometimes.”
“I think that girls get those and boys don’t. How old are you?”
“Twenty-two.”
“How old would you be if I was your age?”
“Well, what’s 16 + 22?”
“Let me do it…35?”
“Close. 38.”
“My math is very close!”

He got a hold of my camera and took some excellent pictures:

"Why does God make it yucky outside?"
"Because we need rain."
"We don’t need this much rain."
"If we didn’t have rain, we wouldn’t have food."
"Go to the grocery store!"
"But where would the grocery store get food from?"
"ANOTHER grocery store!"
"Well, where would we get water from?"
"Buy a SINK!"
"Where would we get the water for the sink?"
"HIRE PEOPLE!"

By now we were just about to take-off. The people around us were irritated by him, and I knew I was perpetuating his loud outbursts by asking him questions, but I didn’t care.
When the plane rose above the dark clouds into a clear blue sky and shining sun, Connor looked out the window and stated: “I think the earth is magical.”

After a while, we built a fort by draping his SpongeBob blanket over our lowered tray-tables, and he hid out in the secret spy hiding place until he had to put his seatbelt back on near the end of the flight. I let him keep two toys out of his backpack for the landing.

“God made me funny. He also made toys fart.”

Then he told me he wished I was his mom. I wanted to squeeze him so bad.

When I had to leave him, I gave him a high-five and told him to have lots of fun at Grandpa’s. As I walked away, he shouted:
“What’s your name again?!”

video

5 comments:

  1. bethany that is all kinds of awesome.

    is it sad i recognize some of those toys?

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  2. Too adorable. Maybe you should be his mom!

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  3. I wish I had your patience when it comes to people who sit next to me on flights. For me, enter iPod and loudest volume possible. And even some fake sleeping.

    You are a hero, Bethany!

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  4. bethany. this is all kinds of amazing. one of my favorite blog posts of all times.

    don't ask me how or why i found this post 1 1/2 years later. i dont know; it just appeared on my screen.

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