"Mikalh, sit down!"
"Mikalh, where are you going?"
Mikalh's eventual response usually begins with "I'm just..."
He is an avid reader and will attempt to cross the street with his face buried in a book he just can't bear to put aside. The adults in his life find themselves in the odd position of having to remove his reading material -- by force, if necessary. After all, learning about jousting in the Middle Ages is not really worth the risk of getting hit by a car.
|new religious symbol|
Because of his hyper-fertile imagination and innate compassion, one must practice censorship around Mikalh when speaking of incidents that may provoke fear or anguish. Of course it's impossible to remove every single negative influence from his immediate vicinity. Consequently, during a casual walk around the block, the sight of a cat with only one eye elicited heart-breaking sobs. A massively stupid TV program featuring zombie parasites made going to bed an ordeal for Mikalh and everyone around him for days on end.
Fortunately, Mikalh is accompanied on his way to his room or to the bathroom by the family dog, Xavier. Xavier is an unlikely combination of Labrador and Corgi -- a barrel-shaped sausage with flimsy kitty-cat legs.
|Mikalh and Dad|
Mikalh possesses more costumes than he does clothes and has a whole closet devoted to them. In addition to the typical superhero regalia, he can outfit himself as a pirate, an astronaut, a king of Narnia, Perseus of Greek mythology, a zoo keeper, a race car driver, a cowboy or some odd combination of garments representing a newly-invented persona. Sometimes he will construct accessories out of various objects reclaimed from the recycling bin. Sheets of cardboard, egg cartons and tin cans become weapons, breast plates, masks, etc.
Last Wednesday was his seventh birthday and Mikalh and I went out digging for dinosaur bones among the stunted prickly pear cacti and copious ponderosa pines at the rim of one of our town's numerous canyons We didn't find any fossils but had a good time nonetheless. We examined various insects (mostly varieties of ants) and watched a woodpecker disappear inside a hole in a tree trunk. We sniffed the sap of a ponderosa pine and determined that it smelled like butterscotch. Somewhere along the way we lost the large pumpkin scoop we were using as a digging tool.
As with my other two grandsons, I look on Mikalh's presence in my life as a unique treasure bestowed on me by the gods. Being the grandmother of this extraordinary child is both a solemn duty and an abiding pleasure.
|Rowan, Mikalh, Devin and Xavier|