Notes on a Squiggly Squirmy 3-year-old (aka Aiden Christopher-Bryant)

We’re in church in Memphis, TN. He has been with us several months now and this is what’s going through my head:

He races to put his Ironman figurine under my left butt cheek every time I sit down (and we stand/sit a lot of times during Mass).

He uses my arms as a launch for his figurines in flight and sticks the sharpest point into my skin. If I move, he finds another tender part. I warn him, he looks at me, smiles slyly, waits a minute, and starts all over again.

He now wants to be in my lap.  He squirms, ever-moving, pulling my clothes into disarray. I whisper “be still or get off my lap.” He stops a minute, leans into me, waits; it begins all over again.

He stand on the upturned kneeler, a safety hazard for my legs should it fall. I tell him to get down—he does—waits a minute, and is up on it again.  I sigh.  Give him “the” eye.  He loudly whispers, “Sorry Nana.” He doesn’t wait for his words to register before he starts his squirming again.

His body is constantly in motion, his foot seems disconnected from his body as he batters my legs and ankles without even noticing. My now mottled, bruised legs and ankles don’t faze him at all. He is totally focused on the adventures of Ironman.

Looking back, those were days to be treasured.  His trust was complete, his hugs genuine, his visit–a gift.

October 2008

St. Augustine Church

Memphis, TN

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