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Kids say the funniest things, figure out the darndest things, too

By Tim Linscott
Managing Editor
Yes, I will admit that I am the person referred to in Donna Burge’s letter a few weeks back, as is my son, Elijah.
It isn’t too hard to figure that out and the whole situation was funny and lesson-filled at the same time.
As we were leaving the building after a basketball game Mrs. Burge introduced herself to Elijah and talked to us a bit when he reached up and touched her spirit button.
“Who is that? Is he fast?” Elijah asked.
Mrs. Burge explained that was her grandson and, yes, he was fast. She invited him to a track invite this year to see Matt run.
As we walked home I asked Elijah why he thought that Matt was fast.
“He looks fast, doesn’t he?” was his response.
Looking at the young man, I never would have been struck first and foremost as saying ‘that boy is fast.’ However, my son sees things a bit differently than most people. It is this unique perspective that makes my wife and me sometimes laugh, cry and look at the world in a profoundly different way.
Mr. Hakonson met with Elijah at the school the other day and introduced himself. Elijah told him he was ‘the President.’
Mr. Hakonson told me later that the first year he was a superintendent that a boy on a playground called him ‘The Vice President.’ Now the last year of being a superintendent he has been upgraded to ‘President.’
Again, I asked Elijah why he said Mr. Hakonson was the President.
“The President is the top.” he replied.
Think about it: The President of the United States, a company, club or school is...the top person.
“Mom, do you know what the word organization means?” Elijah asked his mother, Deb, not too long ago.
“Yes, I do. Do you know what it means?” she asked back.
“Yep,” he said cheerfully.
“What does it mean?”
“Mom, you just said you knew what organization means!”
“I do, I want to make sure you know what it means.”
“I just told you I know what it means,” Elijah said, ending the conversation. You can’t argue with that kind of rebuttal.
His ability to see things and put things together in a unique fashion keeps us on our toes.
My father-in-law recently leaned back in his chair after supper with us a few weeks ago and pulled a toothpick out of his pocket, picked his teeth and stuck it behind his ear.
“Are you friends with Russ grandpa?” Elijah asked.
“Who?”
“My friend Russ,” Elijah said.
I interjected, “I think he means Russ Pankonin, the only Russ he’d know.”
Scratching his head a bit, my father-in-law responded, “I know who he is.”
We left the conversation at that until the ride home. I asked Elijah why he thought grandpa knew Russ.
“They have those things in their ears,” he said.
‘Hearing aides?’ I thought.
After some more questions and probing, Elijah talked about the chewy thing they stick behind their ear.
Then it dawned on me. If anyone knows Russ Pankonin, he puts a toothpick behind his ear often. So often, in fact, you don’t seem to notice it, as it is common for people to do that after eating.
For my son, however, he thought it was some sort of club that friends were in because grandpa and Russ were the only two people he’d ever seen do this and he was friends with them, so he figured they were friends, too.
We have these ‘oh, yeah, now I get it,’ moments quite often. Kids can have some interesting logic at times.
Our son has made life a big puzzle, always feeding us clues as to the solution of a story or dilemma and it is up to my wife and me to try to solve the equation.
There is never a dull moment with kids around and with our spirited little guy, it is ten-fold.