if i have one regret about anthony it is that i have not recorded our conversations from each and every one of our walks to school. i can't begin to tell you how interesting or funny or wondrous his line of questioning is.
he has just turned eleven. i have almost forty years of life and learning on him yet it is possible i learn more from him than he does me during these morning jaunts. the other day he asked me about the recent financial depression. having lived through it (and having seen the big short) i was able to give him a fairish answer. when i was done and feeling reasonably proud i just impressed a fifth grader, he asked ...
what about the depression that happened in the olden days, what caused that?
uhhh. i'd have to say i don't know what started that one. i don't think it was bad home loans.
after something like that, anthony will appear by my side in a day or two and say.
the stock market.
the stock market. that is what caused the old great depression.
oh. yeah. that sparks a memory of sorts. i remember hearing about people jumping out of windows.
yeah. you see ...
he will then go on to describe the intricacies and maneuvering of it all in a way i can keep up with for about a minute, two minutes on a good day.
thankfully lots of our conversations are less academic and revolve around shows and books and storytelling, breaking down the parts and characters we liked or the things we wished had happened or the techniques we thought were most effective. we often talk about the universe of cool things he will get to take in when he is older (e.g. the godfather, stephen king, essentially anything he chooses). regardless of the subject matter, i believe our morning walks to school is a special event for each of us which, as you would imagine, warms me to the marrow.
the picture above shows anthony's end of day routine. after school lets out he climbs this tree. and when i say climb i MEAN climb as it is a sizable beast which he ascends to the topmost branches that can support him. i get frazzled any time i see him do it. when my nerves begin their flaring, i remember the days of marty standing next to, putting a hand on my forearm as we'd watch bella, who around the same age would climb trees equally high, and say through her frozen smile, "just keep smiling troy and everything will be fine". poker face is what we call it and i've had a pretty bad one since before even having kids. but every time anthony practices his tree-climbing, i get to practice my poker face.
when he descends the tree he does five pullups on the lowest branch, drops out and heads for home. good days.