I haven’t written about the boy in a while. Here’s a selective summary of the acts and gestures I’m recalling from the last 7 days:
- Bryce took his first plane trip. We ended up flying on four planes, to and from Raleigh and to and from Little Rock, and the boy did okay—mostly.
- Bryce played with a dog, ran up and down stairs carrying everything from luggage to glasses and toys—by himself—and basically slept half the time he’s used to, which, for the record, made me crazy.
- He got a lot of love in the form of hugs and kisses from Grammie Joseph, from his Grandma, his uncles, and too many relatives to name. I hope this week stands up in his memory as full of nothing but long love and tight embraces.
- He proved that Thomas is still more popular than I am, as Bryce played with Thomas, talked to Thomas, and introduced everybody he met to (something about) Thomas. I’ve not heard another person’s name in a week more than I’ve heard Thomas’s name.
- Bryce ran away from his mother and a group of family members outside of a restaurant, while I was off getting the car, along the side of a building, surrounded by mostly parked cars, until a nephew I just met ran after to catch him. Ask Bryce if you want to know how I responded…
- Bryce ran away inside a restaurant one day after the above while I, again, was off to get the car. Ask Bryce how his mommy responded…
- He continued his fascination with fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances. Those words and their obvious siren sounds were the soundtracks of our conversations.
- Bryce maintained his favorite word, “No,” and substituted it only for his favorite response, “Why?” until I came up with my own favorite responses to his why: Who, What, Where, When, How—in no particular order, which silenced him.
- Bryce played drums on a table, with straws for sticks, at B.B. King’s restaurant on Beale Street and was called out by the band, a comment he paid no attention to. He was in it for the music alone.
- He went off when Dawn turned off the Thomas video and couldn’t understand or even hear my explanation about the FAA and its rules for landings. He stopped crying after the whole plane woke to his screaming, “Thomas, I want my Thomas,” and after his mom kept comforting him, while his aunt was handing me a picture book and after his grandma sent over a lollipop tree.
- Bryce said goodbye to Pawpaw when I picked him up, explained in two sentences what he was about to see in my father’s stiff remains, and said he too wanted to be with Jesus