Holding Onto Magoo

When Magoo gets home from school each day, he doesn’t tell me squat about what’s happened while we’ve been apart. I ask him probing, thought-provoking questions and he shrugs and says he can’t remember. Like a post-traumatic stress victim, he blocks the icky school from his mind.

Today as we were walking home from the bus, he grabbed my hand almost unconsciously in front of another little boy and I closed my eyes and tried to memorize the feel of it because it won’t be long before he’s done with all that mushy stuff.

Kisses are already off-limits.

Then tonight as I got home from helping out with our church youth group, I heard his little voice from the top of the stairs, “Mom. Can you please sleep with me for just a minute?”

I can’t say no to requests like that. Every time I think, “What if this is the last time he asks me to cuddle with him in bed?”

So I marched up the stairs and laid down next to him in the spot he created for me, scooting over against the wall. He pulled out his Calvin and Hobbes book that he keeps stashed between the wall and his mattress.

“You wanna hear something hilarious from this book?”

“Ok.”

“You have to turn on your phone so I can use the light to see.”

I pulled out my phone and shined it on the pages as he skipped from one comic to the next, laughing and each time explaining to me why it’s funny. “It’s funny because Hobbes is scared of tigers, but, you know, he IS a tiger. Get it?” Yes I do.

When I put my light away, he laid still for a hundredth of a second and then started telling me things from his day. Lying in bed next to him is the one time I get all the scoop, what he did at recess, who his girlfriend is, why he got in trouble in class, and today – how some of his friends were putting plastic bags over their mouths and breathing in.

Me: That sounds like a horrible idea. They could get hurt really bad.

Magoo: No. They could DIE! Remember what you told me about being locked in a box and breathing out bad air until all the air was bad and then breathing in bad air and then dying? Well they could do that with the bag, only way faster.

Me: Yep.

So, then Magoo asked me what it’s called when you breathe in bad air until you die and if I could list other ways kids could die from breathing in bad air.

Me: Well, some kids get stuck in a chest or freezer and can’t breathe and then die.

Magoo: Well they’d die even faster if it were a trash can they were stuck in.

This takes me a second to process.

Me: Oh? Because the air is worse in a trash can?

Magoo (proud of himself for solving the secrets of the universe): Yeah. If it was a trash can with diapers in it, they would die SO fast.

Forget about carbon monoxide poisoning, I need to keep that diaper pail locked up ti-ight.

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