We were driving around this morning, running errands. Daniel was sitting in the seat next to me staring quietly out of the window.
“Mom, can I tell you the one about the zebras?” he asked out of the blue.
“Sure.” I replied.
“Well these zebras were in trouble. First they flew. Then they went under the Antarctica with air bubbles so they couldn’t stay long. Then the lions were going to eat them. So you see what can happen?” He asked.
“I don’t understand.” I said, confused.
“Mom! It is like the story of the boy who cried wolf!” Daniel said, exasperated.
“I still don’t understand. I can’t see how that story corresponds to the story of the boy who cried wolf.”
“Because they are like the villagers.” He explained.
“The zebras?” I asked.
“No! Mom! You are not understanding.” Daniel rolled his eyes, “The birds are like the villagers because they don’t believe the zebras.”
“Oh! I get it.”
Daniel looked content.
“So you see what I mean about the story of the boy who cried wolf. The lesson is that you shouldn’t lie.” He concluded and resumed looking out the window.
I was a little relieved to be done with that story. I still am not sure exactly how the whole story was told originally but I don’t have the energy this morning to work with Daniel on his communication. I can guess that there was something about the zebras telling the birds that they could fly and then that they had traveled to Antarctica. The birds found out that wasn’t true so when the zebras said a lion was going to eat them, they didn’t believe the story. That is enough for today. As is often the case with Daniel, a lot can get lost in the retelling.
I think that in some ways, Daniel must be like me. I often will start talking in the middle of a thought. A combination of the quizzical look on my husband’s face and years of self awareness have taught me to catch myself by the end of the first sentence. I will quickly explain the thought that led up to the statement and my husband will smile and shake his head or laugh softly. Maybe in Daniel’s head he has already told the rest of the story. That would explain his frustration at my confusion. It doesn’t dawn on him that I didn’t hear his thoughts.
I am thankful to have a tolerant and compassionate husband. Seeing my own quirks in Daniel helps me stay compassionate, patient and tolerant. However, some days, that resolution is severely tested. Today, I think I did pretty well.