“Oh good,” I said, “I’ve been wondering what he’s going to write on his Harvard application someday and now we have something – ‘I could beat my dad at Wii Bowling from the age of 6’ – I’m sure that’s impressive to someone.”
But then one day I was looking at J’s school work and there was a picture that had been drawn with a pencil and then painted over. I said, “Oh wow, you made this?”
“Well, actually Mama, I just painted it,” he said. “Salvador Dali drew all those lines.”
"Really? Well isn't that cool," I said.
Then I found another picture J drew and I swear it’s a John Lennon lithograph, right?
And last night at the dinner table, J announced, apropos of nothing, “Fruit is a suitcase for seeds.”
My husband looked at me in disbelief. “Slightly clunky, but that’s a well-formed metaphor for a 6-year-old!”
“I know – it’s brilliant,” I said.
But then we got hold of ourselves at Target when we were quietly making fun of two people we overheard talking about their kid. The husband wanted to buy a board game. The wife said, “I don’t know – he doesn’t really understand how to play the game yet, he just messes around with the pieces.”
And the husband exclaimed, “I know! That’s because he thinks outside the box!”
Admittedly it’s not just other parents who remind us that our kids are ingenious to us, but perhaps not so much, objectively speaking. The other day I overheard this conversation:
J: There is no Sandbag character.
Little One: Yeah, he’s in Spiderman 5.
J: There is no Spiderman 5
Little One: Yeah there is.
J: No there isn’t. You’re trying to trick me. You can’t trick me! You have to get up pretty late at night to trick me!
So he’s still a first grader, I suppose, however much in awe his dad and I are of him. Still, we’re not that worried about his ability to get into Harvard someday. I mean, how many applications could they possibly get from people who can channel Salvador Dali? And besides, there’s always Yale.