Every year I talk about how spring seems to always be just now arriving, from the first blooming of trees in March to the full greening of campus late in April or early May. I keep thinking "ok, now it's spring." And then the next week something else sprouts or blooms and I think it again.
I've noticed the same thing with how Aidan is growing. It seems like for years now he's been just starting to talk.
He said his first words when he was just over a year old, though I didn't actually hear him talk until months later. Then, when he was around two, he started using a lot more words, a lot more complex sentences, so it seemed like he had really started to talk. I think I posted about it. Now, he's just past three, and he's really talking, using more or less complete grammar and mostly correct pronunciation (except he still says "gweens" and "aminals" and such things).
Not that he talks often. He's kind of a quiet boy.
I don't babysit him much, but I understand that watching him is getting both easier and harder. Easier because he can follow rules and instructions and some sense of judgment, so you can tell him "stay where I can see you" and he will. Harder because he's also able to make innocent mistakes or to disobey, so when he gets in trouble he can get in trouble seriously. And one minute he seems to know everything and be able to do everything, so you let him do things, and then the next minute he's obviously a toddler again.
All this, too, is a process that has been unfolding since he learned how to crawl.
Kayla hardly ever babysits him these days. She's busy being a student and being a teenager, and since he's been weaned completely for about a year now, there are whole days that go by when she hardly sees him. That's ok--the idea was always for Sadie to raise him.
During the day, Sadie is usually in the kitchens or off-campus at this restaurant she's started. He can't really go with her, so he gets passed around the various masters. Sometimes he'll even turn up in class and sit quietly in the back, coloring.
Actually, this past week we were talking about the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., in class--the anniversary of his death was April 4th--and Aidan jumped into the conversation.
"He didn't get killed because he was black," the child asserted. "He got killed because he was nice to all the people and mean people are scared of nice people so the mean people killed him."
Greg looked a bit startled, but recovered himself.
"Interesting point, Aidan," he said, speaking as he might to any other student. "Do you care to elaborate?"
Aidan put down his crayons and spoke up.
"A lot of people think Martin Lufer King was killed because he was black and because he was nice to black people on buses and stuff. But he was nice to white people and pink people and green people and purple people, too. Like, if they didn't have any money he would help them get money and if people were mean to them and told them to take out the garbage all the time he would say 'no, you have to be nice!' And that is why mean people killed him. Because sometimes mean people just want to be mean, so if you tell them not to be mean they kill you or put you in jail. So that's why it's important to be brave and nice, not just nice all by itself."
And he picked up his crayon again and went back to coloring.
"You are right, for the most part," said Greg. "Where did you learn all that?"
"I don't know. It might have been Steve Bees or somebody like that."
Steve is in American History of Dissent, of course, and he shrugged helplessly and looked completely dumbfounded. Aidan seemed completely unaware he'd said anything extraordinary. His drawing just looked like multicolored scribbles, no hint of a recognizable image at all.
The boy is starting to talk, but the thing is he hears everything and remembers most of it.