Monday, January 31, 2011
Through the Eyes of the Innocent
I prefer to think of Joshua as a trendsetter. He's in kindergarten and he's a Cloverbud in my 4-H club. Being a Cloverbud, some of you may recall from an earlier blog, means Joshua has yet to develop proper motor skills to handle livestock, even small animals such as guinea pigs, bunnies, and poultry. Now here's where the rubber meets the road. Joshua really enjoys "dressing to the nines", as my grandma used to say. It's not unusual to see him at church all decked out in a jacket and tie. Yesterday he took that one step further by sporting a fancy black Fedora that included a silver sash around its crown. This was a Christmas gift from one of his grandmothers. Now I'll remind you that most kids, especially that age, in this community wear cowboy hats. I'm thinking Joshua's dad might have been slightly more impressed if a 5X black Stetson was sitting on Joshua's head, but, nevertheless, the Fedora was acceptable. Joshua looked classy--he had on a tie and a snappy looking tailored shirt...and his Fedora. If he would have had a black, full-length coat, Joshua could have really topped off his "Dillinger" look. He even walks with that certain swagger that accompanies the Fedora. Ever since Joshua joined 4-H this past November, he can't seem to remember my name. He associates me somewhat with school. There, he refers to his teachers as Mrs. So and So. As a result, whenever Joshua sees me, I am Mrs. 4-H Leader to him. That's okay with me. He's always eager to come talk to me since he joined 4-H. He's got some story he desperately needs to share with me. I love that! So yesterday after church, here comes Joshua swaggering across the parking lot, hands in his pockets and Fedora on his head. "That's a sharp looking hat you've got there," I tell him. "Thanks," is his curt reply. He's deep in thought, so I give him a minute. Then he looks up at me. " Excuse me, Mrs. 4-H Leader." " Yes, Josh, what is it?" "You know my 4-H bunny, Sam?" He continues on without giving me a chance to acknowledge whether or not I knew Sam. "Well, he passed away........by the dog. So I don't have a 4-H bunny any more." How do I handle this? It was all I could do not to burst out laughing at his seriousness, yet I needed to be sympathetic. "I'm sorry, Josh. But you might not have been able to take him to the fair anyway because you're a Cloverbud." He looks up at me and grins. "That's okay then." And off he trots, Fedora on his head, climbs into Grandma's car and looks out the back window--somewhat like I would have envisioned Dillinger to look out the window back in the day. Happy trails...to Sam and all of you.