Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Vestigial

We traveled last weekend. We drove to New Orleans for a wedding. The wedding was lovely. The children were delightful. We couldn't have been more proud of their behavior. We very much enjoyed visiting with family.

One morning while enjoying the free continental breakfast at the hotel Michael was sitting in my lap and wiggling a bit as five year olds are prone to do. His tailbone was grinding into my leg rather painfully and I asked him to sit still because his tailbone was hurting me. He looked at me like I was crazy. I found myself explaining vestigial body parts to him. My cousins and I thought of wisdom teeth, and appendixes in addition to the tailbone and then conversation moved elsewhere.

I should have known Michael was deep in thought because, in retrospect, he was uncharacteristically quiet, but I was distracted with visiting. Several minutes later he popped in with this thoughtful insight... "Mama, you know what else is vestigial?" At my prompt of, "Yes sweetheart?" he replied, "Newspapers!" He then earnestly supported his assertion with rather well thought out examples of all the other ways we can learn things today. We all burst out laughing as I tried to defend newspapers to my son.

Although we had obviously missed some subtleties as we explained the meaning of "vestigial" to Michael I was astonished at his ability to swiftly comprehend a rather abstract concept and then promptly turn around and apply the newly gained knowledge to an entirely different context. Sometimes I wonder how I will ever keep up with him.

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