What thinking sounds like before it goes underground
From thoughts about babies thinking aloud to thoughts about putting children under ground… Random reflections.
Since he was about eight months old, Liam has started his day by talking to himself, often for a good half hour and sometimes even longer. Arnulfo and I are fairly addicted to the sweet sound of him jabbering away, a jabbering that is steadily resolving itself into actual language. I’m starting to realize, though, that in the next year or so–maybe less–he won’t be doing his thinking out loud any more. What will I do when all of that joyful noise goes underground and he thinks his thoughts for himself alone?
I tell myself pretty much daily, in advance of this retreat of my son’s thinking away from my ears, Remember. Remember what this was like.
Probably I should record him. Although it won’t capture everything, a recording would be a crutch for remembering the feeling.
Yes, Liam’s thinking is going to go underground, but I hope his sweetness won’t. Nor his smirking playfulness, his stubborn streak, his radar for raisins and bread.
I realize, of course, that I am drifting away from the idea of language going underground. That is probably because right now I am writing a novel in which many, many children die in a school explosion. And I wonder–cringing the whole while–what it might be like to put your own child under ground.
I am writing the book, but I am also letting it spur me on to be present to my family now, to savor every second, to brace myself against loss and hope that it doesn’t come.
In the meantime… I tell myself, Remember. Remember. Remember. I want to take the sound of my son’s voice–his just-waking-up yammerings–with me forever.