He’s Got Character

I got up late this morning and walked into the family room. Benjamin was sitting at the corner of our big round couch eating a toaster waffle. He looked, newly de-mulleted (first haircut yesterday), wearing a red zip-up sweater. Tricia was taking a cup of lukewarm coffee off of the table next to him. “I gave him the waffle and he just came in here and sat down where I was studying. Then he picked up my pen and used it to stir my coffee.” There was an informal handoff: Tricia went off to the bathroom, and I watched Benjie, poured him some milk, and started a kettle of water for myself.

“Good morning. Hey, do you want to watch some Sesame Street?”

Clear as anything, Benjie sang out the first three notes of the Sesame Street song. “Dooo doo-doo.” Not quite enough that royalties would have to be paid if it had been broadcast, but enough that the music could be recognized, and enough to impress me.


A week ago, I picked him up from daycare a couple of hours early. I walked into the classroom, navigated the childproof gate, and found him and another boy huddled over a xylophone. When Benjie heard my voice, he turned and started to run toward me. Halfway across the room, he hesitated. He turned around and walked back over to the other boy. He bent down onto his knees, put his hand on the boys shoulder, and looked him straight in the eye before turning around again and walking calmly back toward me.