February 20, 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max

Yesterday morning was the first day of school after the three-day weekend.  Enzo woke up, and in the dark, in his sleepy voice he said, “Call the police and tell them to shut Alice Birney down.  Do it so she will never rise.”  That would be Alice Birney Waldorf-Inspired Charter Elementary School.


On Sunday we took the quiz in Parade Magazine about what makes a happy family.  I got almost all of them right.  A-minus for happiness.  We also decided to do some of the activities that happy families do.  One suggestion was “First, throw out a word like bird or white and have everyone list as many related words as possible.”

Teresa:  Okay.  Butt-hole

Enzo:  Armpit!  Crotch!

Me:  Fart!

Enzo:  Gas!

(See, it works.  Instant results.)

Here’s a note that’s been floating around my desk for a while.  “Pilaf.  Get it, Pee-laf?”  This brought on because my ingrate son said we always have the same thing for dinner and that he is tired of rice and pasta.  So I made pilaf instead, and of course he didn’t eat a bite.  Probably didn’t help that Teresa called it Pee-laf.  Oh, you thought that was an Enzo quote?  Ha!


Enzo:  (This was around Valentine’s day.)  I’ve been hit by Cupid’s arrow many a time.  Like the time I met Kyriana.  I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love…

I should probably import from last year’s diary Enzo’s crushes on girls in casts, including Kyriana. 

April 2, 2012:  Yesterday afternoon we were at the park.  A girl, maybe thirteen or fourteen, arrived, walking on crutches.  Her leg was in a big, old-fashioned cast (not that boot that you sometimes see these days).  Enzo kept checking her out, playing close to where she was sitting.  After a while he said, “Can we tell that girl about my penis surgery?”  But by then she was getting ready to go, and I explained that that might be awkward anyway.

“What does awkward mean?”

“It means she might wonder why we’re telling her about your penis.  It might seem strange because we don’t know her.”

She left, and Enzo walked out to the sidewalk two or three times to watch her slow progress down the street.  “Sometimes I like grownup girls in casts,” he said. 

A few minutes later, “Do you think we could phone call her?”

“We don’t know her phone number.  Or her name.”

“But does your phone have a picture of people and then you call them?”  I explained that it does, but only for people we know whose number and picture I actually put into the phone.

And a few minutes later he said, “I think about girls in casts all the time.  I still like snakes though.”  And then a turtle that someone brought to the park turned our attention.

Later that night as he was going to sleep Enzo called me into the bedroom.  “I have to tell you a secret.” 

I leaned down and he whispered in my ear, “I like broken-leg girls.  It’s so interesting.”

But that’s not what I was looking for.  I wanted to find this:

April 24, 2012:  We just got back from a weekend at Lake Tahoe.  Enzo met a girl at the beach with a cast.  He loves girls with casts.  We were all climbing on some big boulders in the lake.  They’re attached to the land but mostly surrounded by water.  So this girl in a cast named Kyriana kept asking me for help getting up to the bigger rocks, and I kept saying no because I didn’t want her to end up somewhere she couldn’t get down from by herself.  Then she lost her grip and slid a little way down a boulder into the water.  She was crying and yelling for help.  Her brother and I pulled her out, while Enzo looked on, entranced.

Enzo has made me tell that story about five times in the last twelve hours.  Teresa took a picture of the two of them standing on the beach, and he keeps insisting on looking at on her camera.  And when Kyriana left he chased down the trail after her to say goodbye.  Teresa went with him and she reported that he hugged her.  Then he wanted to go back to those boulders and have me point out the exact spot where she slipped into the water.

When we first met her, Enzo was too shy to talk to her, but he desperately wanted to discuss her medical history and his own.  He kept standing off by himself, close to her, but not really with her, staring out at Lake Tahoe and saying, “My testicle was up here, but then I had surgery, and now it’s down here.  I had a cast on my penis, and I couldn’t even move.  But that’s not good to talk about.  It’s private.”

But then they just started playing, and she talked a blue streak, and he listened and listened and listened.  At one point the two of them were standing on the beach, facing each other, showing how they could whistle, both of them just barely able to do it, but still doing it, pleased with themselves and each other.


September 24, 2012:  Enzo still has that picture of Kyriana in his room.  Teresa heard him explaining to Keelan that she’s his girlfriend.

“Where does she live?” said Keelan.

“Lake Tahoe.”

“Do you ever see her?”

“I try to.”

Later Enzo said to me, “I know she has her cast off by now.  But maybe she has another cast.”

“Why do you like casts so much?”

“I’m not going to tell you.  It’s a secret.”

This is awesome.  Writing without writing.  Hurrah!  Am genius.