I don’t know what a robotic version of skeletron is.
Or what souls of light are.
Or anything about a candy princess.
Or what the difference between a character with a blue straw and a red straw is.
Or even why these straws exist or where they are.
But I listened to stories about them all day yesterday.
Because my son was so excited to talk to me about all of that and more.
Mostly gaming things, some youtube.
None of which I had played or seen.
And some of which was on the screen that he excitedly pointed out to me.
I told him that was great, it was so cool, or I asked questions.
Even though his answers didn’t really get me any closer to understanding.
It’s not his fault. I’m sure to other players of those games, he made sense. His brothers would know what he was talking about. I’ve heard them talking about these same things, but normally, I just let them chatter about it while I keep doing whatever it was that I was doing, whether it’s work or making dinner or folding laundry or (honestly, sometimes) watching a show or reading a book and tuning out their conversation once I realize their topic.
But yesterday, only one of my three boys was home. A rare occurance. One on one time just doesn’t happen that often around here.
I tried to plan something fun for the two of us. A movie, maybe. Or heading to a park because it was a nice day.
But he just wanted to stay home, watch some movies, play video games with no brothers to have to fight over Xbox time, and curl up next to me and our cat.
I realized that it wouldn’t be a day for him if I was forcing him to do something I deemed “fun” rather than just letting him choose. Especially since, so often, he’s dragged along with his brothers and made to either do what they want or to sit and watch as they do whatever activity is taking us all over creation.
I hung out with him as much as he’d let me, which was most of the day, as he played video games and tried to explain them to me.
And he watched movies he’d seen before, but loved to watch and repeat some of the funnier lines, repeating them to me as if I didn’t just hear them as well, wanting me to laugh just as hard as he was.
Asking me “Remember when…” and bringing up stories that had happened years ago, favorite memories that are his go to.
He watched Dobby Cat puff up, getting a gigantic tail as he hissed away a cat who was hanging out on the outside of our windowsill. Laughing infectiously when it happened and when he retold that tale three times that afternoon, each time laughing and making exaggerated gestures to show how big Dobby’s tail got.
A few times, he reached for my hand briefly and told me he loved me.
He doesn’t really let many people in.
His stories of video games and those stories we’ve heard so many times, that’s his way of sharing something personal.
He doesn’t tell many stories of the everyday goings on or talk about his hopes, dreams or worries.
You have to take what he’ll give you.
But what he’ll give you is his huge heart, lots of laughs ….and probably some video game trivia.