Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Benjy, and That Which is Odd

One of the things Benjy is learning at the Joy School, is how to understand his classmates. Because everyone at his school is working on something, and some of these things can seem -- well, a bit odd. Now, Ben himself would be the first to admit that he is, at times, odd. I've mentioned the crackerjack rodent imitation in an earlier post. There's also the Clown Laugh (he's a dead ringer for Bozo), and the Dissertations on Various Arcane Topics, delivered without pausing for breath. So, odd is something we're comfortable with here at Chez Delaunay.

And yet. For the first time in his life Ben is feeling fairly "normal," by contrast. ("Normal" is not a word we like to use around here -- do we even know any normal folks? We might, but they are not people we hang with. Even so, as a concept, "normalcy" is sometimes useful.)

Benjy is trying to wrap his mind around the child whose only conversation is about the calendar, who discourses exclusively about dates and spans of time, seasons and anniversaries. What is today's number, and what is tomorrow's. And he simply does not get it. Of course, his own obsessive monologues about  idiosyncratic interests merely occupy a different space on the same continuum. For some kids, listening to Ben pontificate about the skeletal articulation of the spinosaurus for eighteen minutes and forty-two seconds is probably as odd as the calendar boy's rhapsodizing over dates seems to Ben.

But he will not have noticed that connection, and I'll be the last one to point it out. He's basking in his new-found sense of normal. Let's let him enjoy it.

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