For 48 hours, from dinner time on Thursday until Saturday night, Vincent was enthralled by “Syllabo.” His “sister.” He began talking about her and the island where she lived and barely stopped for anything. He appeared by the bathtub while I was taking a shower to tell me more (“Mommy, did you know that Syllabo can climb tall trees, all the way to the very top?”), and then by my bedside at 2:45 am (“We love to play basketball together, me & Syllabo.” “Syllabo has a cape. And a motorcycle-rocketship.”) — I couldn’t quiet him back to sleep until 4:00 am. Sunday the Syllabo-obsession tapered off, probably due to lack of sleep, but today it’s returned, in a milder, but more active, form — he wants us to go visit her tomorrow. Right on.
(For a brief period he also referred to her as his girlfriend. But I was quite strenuous on the distinction: there’s “sister” and there’s “girlfriend” and never the twain shall meet.)
At this very minute he’s drawing me a picture of her all the while keeping up a running commentary: Syllabo is a princess mermaid that can walk and she has a tree house in her back yard.
It’s a revelation that he’s drawing recognizable things now — it seems like his pictures transformed from indecipherable scrawls overnight — but I’m most looking forward to his discovery of reading and writing. He knows his letters, can write his name, but he doesn’t yet connect how letters form words. When he does, when he learns how to make the stories he tells into his very own books… Can you imagine, can you remember, the absolute wonder of it?