We walk together up to the school, Andy running circles (literally) around us. He is all grins and giggles, excited to be starting his drama camp, one of his favorite weeks of the year.
"Amputate! I know what amputate means!" he chimes cheerfully, my little human dictionary stimming on his newest favorite topic: word definitions. "To cut off! Rightmommy?" He tends to pick words that are uncomfortable and need extra processing.
"That's right!" I reply, half-automatic in my response, more interested in enjoying his ear-to-ear smile- the kind that have become increasingly rare, that light up his whole being and all the world all around him. "Can you think of a positive word for today?" I have been trying to encourage him to perseverate on words that won't make people around him uncomfortable, rather than trying to make him stop altogether.
"Negative words mean 'no'," he nods sagely, but the smile remains. "Is 'negative' a negative word, Mommy? Negative means 'no', rightmommy?"
"It is," I offer another affirmation. "How about 'exquisite'?" This was a favorite word a couple weeks ago, so I am hopeful he will pick it up, but he shakes his head.
"This is a blissful day, Mommy," he sighs happily, choosing another favorite positive word instead. "Bliss means, 'full of joy' rightmommy?"
"Just like you," I kiss his bright cheek, and we are in the door, Andy dancing in behind us.
Two minutes later, he is off to do his thing, with his friends. I can hear him as he heads down the hall, "I know what 'drab' means..."
That's my boy.