For the most part he is astute. When he is awake he is tuned into his world. When he is excited, which is lots of the time, he is an endless monologue of upbeat chatter. “Do you like compliments?” (no pause for response) “Because I DO like compliments.”

Home sick from school, cheeks red from fever, he asks if his brother is home.”Is Leo back yet? I haven’t heard a door but he should be home any minute. I wonder if the first thing he will do is come and check on me. But knowing Leo that will not be his priority. See, check out your iPad, look at all of the skype calls he has missed.”

He has missed his brother today, asked after him several times between naps.

He lies next to me on the bed talking and talking about clash of clans. He is listing levels of each defense and recounting past battles. It is like rain on a window. Patter patter never stopping. The word droplets.

When he is feeling better his body moves at the rate of his words. Legs pedaling on his bike, never coasting. “Why coast?” He asks “I like to get places quickly. Coasting never helps with that. Am I right or am I right?” At dinner he has learned some proximity of sitting. He is in constant motion though, tucking his knees under his bottom, one leg out, then back, crossed and uncrossed. He is never still.

Right now it is just his mouth going.

On the screen this sounds hyperactive, yet in life it is cheerful and consistent. If he is awake he is right there with you. Seeing and commenting on it all.

Except, except. He doesn’t seem to see the things he is looking for. His boots get lost in the middle of the floor in the mudroom, pencils disappear in the pencil cup, shampoo becomes invisible in the shower. He doesn’t seem to think the ice cream is in the freezer.

Sometimes I wonder if it is because he is not looking.

Taking a walk yesterday, pre flu, the snow had begun to melt in earnest. In town in revealed cigarette butts and so so much trash. On our circle street there was only a single piece of trash, and it was on our lawn.

Oliver had hopped the bit of snowbank that remained to peer into the pond to look for his lost soccer ball and was inches from the orange bag of fruit chews.

I asked him to grab it. “Where?” he asked, looking at the roof. “On the ground” Steve intervened, knowing the difficulty that awaited us. Oliver peered off into the horizon, near the entrance to the woods. “Where?” He repeated. “Near your feet.” I joined in. Olvier turned the other way, so the bag was no longer in sight. “I don’t see it.” he says, walking further from the refuse that started mere inches from his toe. “Next to the snow bank.” “Oh, oh, I see it.”

Amidst his mathematical mind, sense of tradition and pattern and general cheer there is this strange blindness to everyday things. I always thought it was a desire for interaction. A way of saying “help me find my coat” then today he hit me with this keen observation.

“Have you noticed that cats never sleep.”

I looked down to my lap, directly at the live action cat nap, and kept quiet.

—–

Does your kid lose the milk in the fridge?

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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