Monday, December 17, 2007


Rojo's name has morphed. It went from Rojo to Rojo-de-do-de-do, to Rodeo-ho-ho, and now even HE is referring to himself as Rodeo. Yee haw! Ride em' cowboys!

So, Rodeo comes into my office and says, "OK, Mom, I'm going to ask you a question, and you have three choices for answers. You can say, 'SURE!' or you can say, 'Maybe,' but you cannot say, 'No.'"

Not bothering to explain that is not really three choices, I agree to hear the question.

"Can you go to Safeway and buy a bottle of Aquafina?"

"Right now?" I ask, looking at my watch and planning my "out."

"Yes! Right now! You will go to Safeway and you will buy me one bottle of Aquafina. You will open up that thing they have like a refrigerator? The one you just walk right up to and open? The one you just open up the door and take the Aquafina?" His eyes bounce with joy just talking about the refrigerator containing bottles and bottles of expensive and environmentally disastrous tap water.

"Oh, I don't know, Rodeo, we have two cases of water in the garage that you've already talked me into buying."

"Mom! That is not one of the answers! You are supposed to THINK ABOUT THE QUESTION BEFORE YOU ANSWER IT!," a line obviously borrowed from his teacher.

"OK, I will think about it."

"Great!" he beams, bouncing off like I just handed him a winning lottery ticket.

I go back to writing and forget all about the Aquafina.

For a full two minutes.

"MOM," he bounces back in, "did you have time to think about going to Safeway? BUT, before you decide, Daddy says you can either take Woohoo to Youth Group, or you can go to Safeway, we need bread."

I quickly depress Control/Save and trudge downstairs.

"I will take Woohoo to Youth Group, and on the way home I will get the Aquafina and bread from Safeway!" I announce to the gathered family, smiling proudly at myself for killing three birds with one stone, and thinking evilly how I can work this in my favor later.

I do just that, and when I return triumphant, I am met at the door by a very sad and deeply troubled young boy.

"I was scared to death! You did not take me to Safeway! I wanted to GO with you to Safeway! You were supposed to TAKE me to Safeway, not buy Aquafina without me! I do not want that stupid Aquafina! That is a BAD bottle of Aquafina! I am so sad you did not take me to Safeway! Why did you not take me to Safeway? Why did you scare me to death?"

He cannot catch all the tears pouring from his eyes, both sleeves and two Kleenex are not enough for the spillage. He is hardly intelligible through all the sobbing. His little heart is BROKEN - fully broken. He is holding the Sharpie pen in his hand, all ready to write his name on the bottle of Aquafina that HE wanted to choose from the special refrigerator, and I've gone and blown his plan all to hell.

"I am so sorry, Rodeo, SO sorry! I didn't understand! I thought I was supposed to bring it back for you!"

"No! That was NOT what you were supposed to do! You did not follow directions!"

I quickly determine that this is one of those times when I must give in, buckle, turn things around at all cost, or it will escalate to the point of no return, and frankly, I'm just not up for that scene tonight.

"OK, get your shoes and coat on, let's go."

One last wipe down of the face and he's pulled himself together enough to get himself in the car.

Still snuffling, recovering from the aftershocks of sobbing, he says, "Were you trying to deal me a chimp?"

"Beg pardon?" I say, eyes on the rainy windshield, mind a million miles away.

"You were trying to deal a chimp to me, weren't you, Mom!"

"Excuse me?" I say, now fully intrigued with what he is saying, and mind frantically searching for the real meaning.

"Ahhh..." I say, as it slowly dawns on me, "No, I don't think I'm dealing with a chimp, Rodeo. I'm sorry about the mix-up."

"That's OK, Mom, I won't deal a chimp to you either."


Kim said...

Oh, sweet Rojo, with that Sharpie in his hand--this made my eyes well up! Powerful story, even more powerful writing.

Kim said...

Oh, sweet Rojo, with that Sharpie in his hand--this made my eyes well up! Powerful story, even more powerful writing.

La La said...

You are AWESOME! Taking him back to the store and all! WAY. TO. GO. (Don't you just love. how we all copy you with the periods?) Or, maybe it's just me copying you. It's a sure sign that you ROCK in my book.

Love to Rodeo!

Suzy said...


Terry Whitaker said...

I can picture the scene --you have re-created it to perfection. He is awesome. You are awesome.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it great that he can cry?
Sometimes the world needs more the ones he sheds.

Jerri said...

"Deal me a chimp" has now entered my permanent vocabulary.

LOVE that!!!! and you. and Rodeo.

Michelle O'Neil said...

He is so cute.

You are a saint.

Deb said...

I'm exhausted reading this. You are at your absolute best as a writer when you describe the Once-Known-as-Rojo moments. I could smell the Sharpie.

kario said...

I am continuously amazed at the importance of the rituals Rodeo comes up with. What I wouldn't give to spend a few moments in his brain in order to understand the path these thoughts take.

Love you both.

grammer said...

There is a subtle magic here, this line --

"I quickly depress Control/Save and trudge downstairs."

Just perfect. Thank you for these windows you give us. So well written, easy for us all to see inside, and deeply. xo t

riversgrace said...

Brilliant! Way to get with the plan and afford the nugget of wisdom at the end. Take an A!

Nancy said...

I could read "Rojo moments" all day long. You are one of my favorite first always check in blog site, but it is when you write about Rojo and Woohoo that you shine the most. There is something so pure and so honest and so visual in these scenes. Love this post!