Saturday, February 20, 2010

In the club

When you first contemplate having children, you tend to spend a lot of time imagining the typical childhood interests and activities in which they might partake. When Archer came, he turned out to be different from anything we had imagined -- anything but typical. That's been a source of pleasure, as he surprises, befuddles, and often delights us.

With our expectations so thoroughly upset by Archer, I think in large part we just neglected to remember to imagine anything typical for Cady Gray. So now when she does something appropriate to her stage of development, something we should have seen coming miles away, it is equally as stunning as her brother's more oblique stylings.

Today as we drove to the library for our usual Saturday visit, Cady Gray told us that she and her school friends invented a club: the Lunchbox Club. "The members are me, Charlotte, Jaden, and Regan," she informed us. "If you have a tray lunch, you aren't in the club."

"What do you do?" I wanted to know.

"We talk about what we have in our lunchboxes," she answered. "We meet every day but Friday, because we don't want to talk during the movie on Friday."

Clubs invented out of whole cloth, for little reason; bonds cemented among friends; the world subdivided and named in ways that give a five-year-old life structure and meaning. There's nothing more ordinary. But I never thought to imagine it.

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