in your mind

i want to be like quinn when i grow up. i want to be able to be anything at all, in my own mind, in any given moment, just like him.

ordinary games of chess become wizard’s chess, and we are harry and ron, playing each other.

an ordinary train becomes the hogwarts express, pulling up to a lincoln log hogwarts castle, and ordinary people become students and wizardry teachers.

this is “mathboy” (malfoy), crabbe and goyle learning quidditch from professor mcgonagall.

this is harry, ron, and “hermarony” granger, learning wizards chess from professor dumbledore. in your own imagination, school can consist of just two subjects: quidditch and chess.

it’s not that quinn has an aversion to normal school subjects… he has been whizzing through his kindergarten handwriting workbook that we brought home when we took this hiatus from school. since we have been back to learning without school, we do occasionally visit this sort of regular school stuff.

but more often than not, it’s back to learning as usual, out and about in the world. the puffins in their winter plumage spent a long time floating within arms’ reach of us when we went to the aquarium last week. we studied their leg bands (“bracelets”) and discovered they each have a uniquely colored one, so that the staff can identify individual birds. red, green, blue, black, and white communed with us for a good ten minutes or so. we headed for cover when the rain began to really pour.

we sheltered under a rocky ledge near the sea lions and quinn did some sea lion drawing while max and his friends swam around behind us.

then we headed inside to the new “the sea and me” exhibit, and spent the rest of our time at one station, where quinn became a commercial fisherman, and caught dozens of fish with his magnetic fishing lure.

then he drove his boat back to newport, and sold me salmon and rockfish from his fresh fish market counter, complete with working scale and cash register (there was even laminated paper money for us to handle our transactions with).

handwriting can get practiced in other places besides workbooks. this was quinn’s entry on a wall where kids could pin up their questions of what they’d like to learn more about at the aquarium.

imagination also makes life easier on mama around halloween time. quinn is very uninhibited with his dress up agenda. he does not require his costume to actually match what he is in his head, so i never feel pressured to have the perfect costume on hand for one single thing – he doesn’t decide on just one. here we have a “caveman with a t-rex head” for a halloween party we attended and while he does actually have on a dinosaur mask and lizard-esque glasses, i am not exactly sure if it is the one other component of his costume (his new mama-made cape) or something else unknown that made him a caveman. i even suggested ideas like being a superhero called dino-man, but he was firm in his cavemanliness.  i don’t think it’s the cape but his ability to be a caveman with absolutely nothing at all but his own mind.

the next morning, having halloween frosted sugar cookies with sugar and gummies on top for breakfast, it was easy for him to change into a kitty. we are having a good time being whatever we want and whoever we want, all day long during the long stretch of rainy days we’ve been having. sometimes the sun even comes out… in our heads.

1 comment to in your mind

  • tim

    I really want to see my nephew… what's he, like, thrice as old as when I last saw him? He's so amazing!

    We should plug in our old webcam and skype you. That is, assuming you have such newfangled technology available to you. Then I could at least see him in real time.

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