The other day, Leafy was sitting with me at the table. This boy. Do you have someone in your life who finds you at any time of the day to tell you seemingly random bits of information about anything under the sun? I do. Artificial intelligence, dinosaurs, superheroes, video games, scientific facts about cells and atoms. Requests for use of the kitchen so he can make food like eggnog (in July) or fried bananas. I never know what’s coming, or how fantastic it will be. So the other day, at the table, I was working on something or other and he sat down beside me.
“I’m not sure if I can still do this,” he said, “but I used to be able to taste with… the top of my HEAD.” Leafy emphasizes his words a lot. I looked at Kai and he looked back at me with his new, nearly teenaged look of HUHHH? Leafy went on. “I could dip my finger in salt and put it the very top of my head, and I would TASTE SALT.” He rendered me speechless. There is a normal pattern to human conversation, one where a person says something and the other responds with something appropriate. But sometimes the thing said has never before been said in the history of the universe, and if I was more creative I might be able to come up with something appropriate, but no, I am speechless. Leafy. That’s what we often say, after Leafy says something to us. “Leafy.” And we shake our heads. “There is no one like you in the world.”
Leafy has a habit of walking in circles, dreaming things up. Recipes, (“I love making sauces and toppings. Did you know that if you put vanilla or coconut milk in salty things, it makes the flavor amazing?”) or scenes in some world where he lives most of the time. I’m not quite sure. He talks a bit, makes motions with his hands. He does it outside our house, going from our tiny garden to the laundry line behind the studio, and back again. We call it his Leafy Walk, and he’s done it since he could walk.His best thoughts come when he’s walking in circles. He’ll grow out of it, I think, or else he’ll become a mad genius engineer, whose colleagues know not to interrupt him when he’s pacing through the offices, walking on the sofas, talking to himself.
He has gorgeous things to say about his sister and brothers. He told me Kai has saved his life FOUR times. (Wow, he's been in danger a lot.) When we were talking about how blessed we are to have Kenya, he said, "Kenya totally keeps this place together! I’ve hung out with boys who don’t have sisters, and they act a little crazy. But if a worm comes out of an apple, Kenya uses her finger to PUSH it back inside.” Which I guess he appreciates. Down with worms. (Apple worms, which are actually maggots, not earthworms, which we LOVE.) He told me one day that Solo loves to work and is very kind, and that is a great combination. And he adores. Isaac.
I think I just needed a post to highlight Leafy today, my gorgeous, wonderful, surprising, adorable middle child.