Gideon bounced onto the bed next to me and laid down. His right leg crossed over his bent left knee and a green sock started dancing up and down in the air above my head. I pushed him sideways, and he slid, still smiling up at the ceiling as if he didn’t even notice I was there.
“I have a story for tell you, Daddy. Okay?” He said, in his halting sort of way.
“Sure, Gideon, tell me a story.”
“So.” He folded his hands on his chest, “Once upon a time, me was at Grandamah’s house. And me was playing there and I,” He made a chopping motion with his one hand into the palm of his opposite hand. “me bonked my hand in the … in the… um, in the pan-anomo… in the pan-ano. The pana-mo.”
I waited patiently as he continued to stare up at that ceiling for several seconds. His mouth moved silently as his lips repeated the word several times to himself in different ways. Then he turned to look at me. “Daddy… What is that that I bonked my hand in?”
“I think you are trying to say the word ‘Piano’.”
His eyes lit up, “Yes! So, I bonked me hand in the pe-namo and it HURT!” He grinned up at the ceiling and took a deep proud breath. I waited. A moment or two later he closed his eyes and looked like he might be going to sleep.”Wait, Gideon, what’s the rest of your story?”
“Wait, Gideon, what’s the rest of your story?”
“Hmm?” he raised his eyebrows at me.
“What happened after that?”
He glanced around the room, then held his hands in front of his face and rotated them back and forth. “Well, I guess my hands getted better.” He shrugged.
“Oh… Well… That was a good story Gid.”
He shifted himself and laid his head on my shoulder. “Yeah…” he agreed. “It was. But it would be even better story if me knew how to say… pan-anemo…”
“Well, yeah.” I ran my fingers through his wild little boy hair, “but still. It was a pretty good story anyway.”