Yesterday Atticus and I walked to the train station to go to his friends' birthday party. Lately, I've been feeling for my first born. It's hard being the oldest. It's hard being a non turkish speaker in a turkish preschool. It's hard having a lot of energy and having no place to let it out. It's hard having a mom who's very obsessive about certain things being just right. It's hard having a younger brother that steals the hearts of all the teachers and students at the school and leaves none for him. It's hard being four years old. It's just hard.
So we're walking down the street and we pass a hole in the wall fruit seller shop and the fruit seller is squatting in the doorway staring out into space. We know this man. We walk by him every Sunday after church and he is so kind to give each of our kids a nice piece of fruit. Because it comes from such an unlikely source the kids' eyes light up and they enjoy the fruit like its candy. So we're walking by and Atticus' stride slows as he approaches this man. I know he's hoping that the man will notice him and give him an orange or apple again but he is staring into space and doesn't see Atticus. I don't want to take advantage of the man's generosity so I try to talk to Atticus about something so he won't feel bad that the man didn't notice him. But as we continue down the street the man calls to us. Atticus runs back to him and the man hugs him and pinches his cheeks and looks in his eyes and says a whole bunch of stuff in turkish that means "I missed you. Where have you been? You're a strapping young lad. Here have an orange to keep you growing! Goodbye! Goodbye!" Atticus was beaming.
Tis the season to be grateful, and grateful I am for that man. I know Atticus will pass through this stage in his life and it will seem like it never happened. He'll always be the oldest but soon he will see the benefits of that. He will learn turkish. He will turn 5. His younger brother won't go away but at least he'll grow out of that cute stage someday. And hopefully his mother will chill out a little, but until then he'll need other people. People like that fruit seller that have no idea what good they're doing until one day they go to open up shop and find a box of cookies waiting for him. What do you think he'd like? Decorated sugar cookies or chocolate chip cookies?