The boy who lives in his own little world
"That's hummingbird for 'I love you'," Boots explains, though he quickly adds that Joey is no bird brain. "He also speaks cat. And dog. And a little bit of people."
He'll then nod his head rapidly, which means he's banging his beak and looking for someone to replenish the "hummingbird" feeder. When translated to "people," that means his milk cup is empty.
His brother usually scoffs. "That's not real. That's just your imagination."
Why, yes it is, I respond. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Big Guy, though, cannot relate. When he plays, his characters are more aspirational. Sometimes he's a Cincinnati Red, sometimes he's a Los Angeles Laker. On race day he's usually a NASCAR driver taking turns in the kitchen and crashing into the cabinets like he's at Talladega.
Though Boots will join his brother on the "track" most weekends, when left to his own devices he's more comfortable with fiction. He did, after all, become Boots on the blog after a long-running fascination with Dora the Explorer.
Sometimes the characters exists only in his head - from the time he was old enough to talk, his "Baby Bug" hands have crawled up to nuzzle me, softly whispering "Mommy Bug!"
Sometimes they're animals personified by an empathetic soul. "We saw a cricket today at school, but I think he was crying. He was away from his family and couldn't get back home."
Or sometimes they're borrowed from whatever show he's been watching or game he's been playing.
"YIKES!" he warned a friend this weekend. "Don't jump there! That spot's full of trowders. We have to freeze them first, then we can cross."
He later explained that a trowder is a fish with sharp teeth and a vicious bite that chases Mario, Luigi and their friends in "Mario of the Deep." It's actually called a "trouter," but I'm not going to tell him. He'd have to revise his entire world view if he knew.
In the days since he and his friend fought off the trowders, he's battle trowder bees and trowder butterflies. I'm not sure, but I suspect trowders might have caused his cricket friend's tears.
I only hope the trowders stay away from Joey. I'd hate to have to explain a hummingbird-boy suffering a trowder bite in the emergency room.
On the other hand, we could just blame Big Guy. The one imaginary character he has is a Military Police dog named General.
Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.