John has a group of friends at school that he inexplicably refers to as “the Crew.” He told me recently that in the voting to determine who would be the head of the Crew, he voted for a friend instead of himself, because he likes that friend and he wanted the friend to know it. That is super sweet.
But in addition to wanting the friend to feel some love, I have a theory that John is very comfortable in the number two role. He’s not Michael Corleone, he’s Tom Hagan. He’s not Avon Barksdale, he’s Stringer Bell. (If you haven’t watched the Wire, you should.) He’s not the front man. He’s the thinker. He’s the guy who’s making sure that everybody understands and follows the rules. He’s under the radar but he’s rallying the troops. If questioned by a third party, he’ll be the one to speak on behalf of the group. He’ll defend his team with his every breath, all the while happily supporting the friends who are out in front.
I know that it’s silly to try to figure him out. Not because he’s eight, but because he’s his own person. People are complicated. But I still find this part of him endearing. And quite strategic. I’ll be interested to see if sticks around.