He wanted to write too.
Since I had.
If it was important to me, it was important to him.
With every stroke of the pen in his chubby little fist, from the tiniest of dots to a full-page obliteration of everything that had come before, it was always followed by “Come.” He wanted me to see.
“What is it?” I would ask. And there would always be a pause as much as if to say, ‘you’re supposed to guess.’
So, I’d take a long look, maybe scratch my chin, fold my hands or tent my fingers and ponder as if deep in thought, and finally offer a suggestion, an approximation, of whatever came to mind that the long wiggly line or infinitesimally small blot of ink might possibly be to this budding author.
Yes, it was a boat. He was quite pleased that I had accurately described that for which he had taken great pains in putting his thoughts on paper.
Of course, if I said, “That is the Grand Canyon with the Colorado River cutting a new channel, with the setting sun making it all shine like a silver ribbon,” then that would be correct too.
And he would grin at my discernment and turn back to the task at hand.
He’ll be celebrating his 40th birthday in a few days. With three little boys of his own who are experiencing the architectural wonders of old Europe where they now live, he still puts his thoughts on paper – the musings of a boy turned dad and writer still, recording their travels as they explore a world of long ago.
Did you know, for example, that the sloping, curved and ornate parapets and supporting balusters of ancient edifices were designed for the express purpose of allowing three small boys to race their Tonka and Hot Wheels cars?
Yes, it’s true. Although the repurposed track turned out to be temporary, it served yet another entry to their journalistic wanderings – climbing the terraced hillsides; short-cutting (getting lost) down narrow brick back alleys; meandering the catacombs; or gazing in wonder before crossing the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising.
Kind of like the scribbles that wander across the pages of my memories.