The other day, I was cleaning out the garage, and I found a box of old books. It was full of old The Far Side anthologies and several compilation books of Calvin and Hobbes. Jeffrey was all over them, but quickly shelved The Far Side in favor of his new heroes, Calvin and Hobbes. I think the science nerdery of TFS mostly went over his head, but the antics of the small boy and his tiger were right up his alley. He’s been devouring them. And frankly, I had forgotten the sheer brilliance of the dialogue, expressions and pure imagination of Bill Waterson’s creative genius.

After about three days solid of reading, Jeffrey came bounding excitedly into my room holding the book, and exclaimed “MOM! Hobbes is a STUFFED TIGER! Did you know that!? That’s hilarious! It’s all Calvin’s IMAGINATION!!” Seeing him figure this out on his own was a singular delight in my mothering this week. Since then, he’s been voraciously reading them, even sneaking a flashlight into bed for some covert under-the-covers reading.

Tonight I found a note, written in red crayon, warning the zombie snowmen to “Stay Away, Suckers!” I guffawed, and let him tape the sign to the wall over his bed, ignoring the fact that only last week, ‘sucker’ was a naughty word. Some things are bigger than my arbitrary rules. Love of a boy’s imagination is one of them…

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