Younger is an introvert. Well, he is now. But when he was six-years-old, he was the not-quite-so-introvert . . .
To give the boys an extra half hour of sleep in the morning, I have been driving them to school. Unfortunately, I lose a half hour of sleep and am usually shoving kids and backpacks into the car before leaving skid marks on our gravel drive. Then I have to wait patiently behind a line of cars before I reach the curb in front of the upper elementary and tell Elder, “I love you, have a good day, I’ll see you tonight. Elder, get outta the car, I gotta go.” And then it is just me and Younger as we rush back onto the highway.
Now, the other day, as I slowed, grumbling, to a stop at a light, I heard Younger say, “Well, hello, people who hang up their clothes.”
Curious and a bit confused, I spun my head towards him, finding him waving at the three women in the car in the lane beside us, one of them leaning around a jacket hanging in the window. Smiling, I turned back to watch the light. And then I heard the whir of Younger’s window. Alarmed, I spun back towards him, noticing that the woman in the car was also lowering her window.
“Hello,” she greeted Younger.
“Hi,” he responded.
“How are you?” she asked.
“Good,” he replied.
Apparently, to Younger, there is nothing strange in holding a conversation with complete strangers at a red light in thirty-degree weather. As soon as the light turned green, I hit the gas, leaving the people “who hang up their clothes” rocking in my wake.
“Younger,” I chided. “You can’t talk to strangers on the highway.”
“Why not?” he asked.
“Because they might take it as an invitation to follow us home.”
“They seemed nice,” he assured me.
“Yes, but some people wouldn’t be nice.”
“Oh, there’s three of us. We can take ‘em.”
The “three of us” is me, Elder and Younger and I’m pretty puny.
And I think maybe I don’t wanna take ‘em.