Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Phoenix

He's leaning over his little green math book. He's an amazing math genius, my boy, something I've never taken the time to brag about, but it's his favorite thing to do. He brings his little book home every Monday and breezes through the week's pages with such gusto and joy. Then he poses questions of his own, out loud, for all to ponder. "I wonder which day we'll be 45 % of the way through the school year?" As Greg and I exchange worried glances across the room, his gaze is fixed, and by the time the two of us have determined a strategy to solve the problem, Liam has figured it out. It's humbling to be regularly out-computed by your six year old.
But on this day he's just plugging away, and I'm leaned over some felt I'm cutting out for Fiona's birthday. I'm struggling with figuring out how to do a layered felt dog in a book I'm creating for her. As he works, Liam chats to me periodically.
"I've figured out what I'm going to be for Halloween next year," he offers.
"Mmmm..." I say absently, my scissors paused halfway through a snip. I'm cutting out an extra piece to sew on top of the existing dog to give the head more depth, but I think I'm not getting the shape right. Maybe I should draw a template?
"It's going to be fire colored, and I think we'll need to get lots of feathers and maybe dye them," he continues.
"Is that so?" I offer, as I figure out that if I cut the ear separate from the head the dog looks more real. I put it on, satisfied.
And Liam says, "Next year I'm going to be a phoenix".
I look across the table at him, this strong, lean, growing tower of pulsing flesh and blood. This soft, sweet, sensitive, beautiful boy who asks me to lie with him every night when I tuck him in. This caring, loving, devoted little son of mine.
I look at him and I see him for what he is, this magical soul who defeated the odds I perceived and rose, alive and alight, from the ruined shards of my would-be life. He brought me back from the place from which I thought I could never return. Liam was my rebirth. I have always thought of him as my phoenix.
I looked across the table at him and said, "That's a great idea, Liam," and smiled for the millionth time at this old-soul boy of mine.

How did he know to be a Phoenix?

(by the by, I've always secretly wished I had given him Phoenix as a middle name)


Hope's Mama said...

Phoenix as a second name would have been very cool.
I have been thinking about this a lot of late, with Angus' birthday just days away (and Miss Fiona's even closer!)
Angus was my rebirth. He brought me back to life. He and Liam will probably never fully know just how very special they are to us.
And I'd still be working on that maths puzzle! What a clever boy you have!

kris said...

I love Liam.

Adelaide's Mom said...

I am also so impressed with Liam's math genius. How did/do you nuture it? What did you make for Fiona?


Ya Chun said...

Time and again he shows that he has a beautiful soul.

And you don't need to name a thing that which it is... for he is truly a phoenix. A clever phoenix.