Sunday, February 20, 2011
Total strangers, we shared a chair lift to the top of Whispering Pines Ski Hill this afternoon and in the mere minutes I spent with him, this 7ish year-old-boy left a strong impression.
Thomas: (ascending in the chair lift) Put the bar down. Put it down. NOW. We don't wanna fall out. (I secure the bar then he extends his mitten-covered hand.) Hello. I'm Thomas. (We shake hands.)
Me: Hello Thomas. I like your name.
Thomas: Thanks. I do too. It's my name. Some people don't say my name right. I'm Thomas with an H. Some people say my name Th-omas, like "thhh" (rolling his eyes, shaking his head).
Me: (smiling, shaking my head too) I like your name with an H. I think that's the best way. Say Thomas, do you know what your name means?
Thomas: I am named after a famous actor: Thomas Allan Eldwood (?) Did you know that he does all his own stunts? We watched a show. There was a show. On TV. We watched it and (shaking his head like a tired old man) he went flying over the trees in his motorbike, (pointing) look at these trees. Some of them are like 20 feet tall. Look. I bet those ones over there are 30 feet tall. LOOK!
Me: (looking) I see. Thomas, what grade are you in?
Thomas: I'm in Grade 2. He flew so high but you know what? He didn't make it. He fell. But he didn't even hurt himself. I'm like him. I don't get hurt. But mostly I don't get hurt 'cause I'm careful.
Me: He didn't get hurt? Wow. I'm glad you're careful Thomas. Are you going to be a stunt-man someday?
Thomas: Yes (like he just realized it), I am. (Barely a pause) No, (rethinking) I'm not. Stunt men are crazy. What does my name mean?
Me: It means twin. Cool, eh?
Me: Do you have a twin brother or sister?
Thomas: No. But a kid in my class has a twin. But I'M NOT a twin. I think you're mistaken.
Me: (chuckling at his word-choice) Well, oh I know. Is your Dad's name Thomas too? Are you named after your Dad? Maybe you're like his twin?
Thomas: NO! MY name is Thomas, (like I'm an idiot) I'M THOMAS. That's my name. My Dad's name is Calvin. (Approaching the end of the chair lift) Put the bar up. Put it up. We have to get off now (wiping snot across his face). Now don't forget. I'M Thomas. And tips up. (pointing at my skis) TIPS UP. Be careful out there, will ya?
Me: (chuckling) Thanks for the advice. It was nice to meet you Thomas.
Thomas: You too.
Albert Schweitzer said, "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being." Thanks Albert, for introducing me to Thomas. And peeps: be careful out there, will ya?