Lately, John’s been starting conversations with me like this:
J: “Mom, can I give you something?”
Me: “Sure, buddy. What?”
And then he follows it up with something like “Carson City is the capital of Nevada,” or “Kendra thinks the Sphinx may be the bad guy,” or “The Steelers still might make the play-offs.”
When he says he wants to give me something, what he means is that he’s going to give me a piece of information. A fact. A thought. These gifts can range from geography to Star Wars trivia to news from the 2nd grade classroom. Or sometimes he wants to give me an idea he has about a book that he’s reading, which is exciting for both of us. Or maybe it’s sports-related information, which he delivers in a rather apologetic tone, since he finds my existing knowledge base embarrassingly inadequate in this area.
Regardless of topic, the framework remains the same: this fact or idea or thought is his gift to me at that moment.
I know this is just a quirk of language, which come and go as kids master the art of being human. But I like this one. I like the idea of information or insight as a gift. It’s true on a much more profound level than just a verbal quirk — when we share something with another person, it is often an act of generosity. We just don’t usually use those words for it. Sooner or later, this turn of phrase will pass out of his speech pattern without notice or warning. But it’s one that I might hang onto a little longer myself.