Tagged: language

Sympatico

There are these moments where you realize that your kid is SO your kid — these funny moments when the distance between you and your child collapses like a long, collapsey-kind telescope.

Today, my son and I were talking about some funny stop-motion videos we were making with Playmobils, when he said, “It’s extremely hard to get all the guys to line up just right so the next frame looks like it came just after the first one.”

“Yeah,” I agreed.

After a few seconds’ silence as we keep editing the little movie, he said, “Two X’s.”

And, weirdly, I immediately knew what he meant. He meant there were two X’s in the sentence he had just said.

No, this is not a game we play. It’s just that he’s an obsessively weird language person just like I am, and he flips words around and around in his brain before, during, and after he says them. So he noticed, as he was saying it, that the sentence he was uttering, unusually, had two X’s in it.

Once, when I was in college, my parents and sister came to visit and as I got into their car that evening, my mom turned around, all faux-exasperated, and said, “Mull foon.” 

I replied, “Yup, mull foon,” and looked out the window at the bright, full moon.

My mom breathed a sigh of relief, turned back around in her seat, and said, “I knew you’d understand.” She had been in the car for hours with two people who had no idea what she was talking about. My dad and sister and I share many things, but the flipping-the-words-around-in-the-brain thing isn’t one of them. 

When you’re weird like us, it’s a delight to discover — and later reaffirm — all those bizarre little ways that you really are family.

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