photo by Jason Barbour
On the last evening of our recent vacation to the Smoky Mountains we decided to let Brantley stay up until he crashed. We sat around a ragin’ fire pit overlooking the mountains listening for animals and talking to the moon.
11:00 p.m. approached. I asked Brantley if he was ready for bed to which he promptly replied, “No. Not yet. But I want to talk to you.” Well, OK. “I wanna talk about my problems,” he said. My mind began spinning; what problems does a two-year old have?
I’ll tell you.
1) He doesn’t like rectangular clouds with bumps, a.k.a. “bumpy clouds.” The clouds were so large they kept covering the moon, which was bothersome. Brantley does approve of fluffy clouds, oval clouds, and circle clouds…just not rectangular.
2) He doesn’t like “scary bugs.” I was not able to compile a list of bugs that fall into the ‘scary’ category. However, I learned that slugs are icky therefore scary.
3) Last, but not least, he does not approve of naked trees. He was very concerned that they would get cold. I told him that those trees had already dropped their leaves and would grow leaves back after the winter. We both agreed that trees with leaves are – typically – more visually appealing than those without.
I learned quite a bit about Brantley that evening. He can speak ‘moon.’ When you shake your fingers at the rectangular bumpy clouds the moon comes out of hiding. According to him, a bonfire is very similar to a volcano. They are both hot, have fire and lava. He warned me multiple times (not the other way around) to NOT touch the fire lava because it is “very, very hot.”
Jason called Brantley an “epic prophet” that evening. I agree. With each passing hour he became more contemplative – each statement was profound and serious. He wasn’t making comments to hear himself speak – he genuinely thought about each problem and expected a thoughtful answer in return.
The most important thing I learned: Never underestimate the mind of a child.