I looked into the kitchen and saw Graham on the tile floor. Papers and markers strewn about. He was surrounded by Legos, K’Nex, and other small toys that fly/drive/float. Drawing and muttering to himself like a little DaVinci until I came into his peripheral vision. He paused to shout, “Mama, I gotta tell you about mine movie!” We have a baby gate that keeps the girls from entering the kitchen. I rarely open it. I learned a few years ago that lifting my leg and half-hopping over the gate is much faster. As I straddled the gate, his eyes lit up with the excitement of a plan.
“It’s a ghost dat gotta eat ovver ghosts for energy. So when he wuns outta ghosts to eat, he gotta zap and kill fings to make more ghosts for food. I know ghosts aren’t weal and I know people don’t turn into ghosts. It just pwetend. But it still pwetty cool to fink about making your own ghost food.”
Graham was storyboarding a movie. No one has ever taught him to do it. He just grabbed several pieces of paper from the kitchen pantry shelf and got to work. We don’t have an office, but Dave built a pantry that facilitates a printer, some craft supplies, a bill basket, a catch-all for medical paperwork and sponsor letters and anything that needs to be laminated. I am a homeschool mom. The laminator was a birthday present when I turned 30. Graham knows what he can and can’t touch without supervision. Our supplies used to be separate, but they are slowly co-mingling. He has a stack of my paper and his new birthday markers are racing across several sheets. My first instinct is to say, you aren’t using the whole page. But he is storyboarding. His white space is intentional. He knows exactly what he wants. And what is a $4 pack of paper when a little boy is actually using his mind and talents?
“Da ghost is gonna make a spider web to catch people. But some people gotta get away or people will get mad at me. So, dis guy gonna get saved by hims dad before he gets to be a ghost. And da ghost will runs away, but people will just fink hims is gone. He will come back and get lots of people! And he comed back and made a twister! And dey lived Happily Ever After. Da End.”
He is constructing the key actors with Legos and K’Nex. Building models to accompany his drawings. And designing cover art.
“Da movie called ‘Happy Ghosts’ but I guess it only happy for da one dat not gonna get eated. It’s a twicky name to twick people.”
Yes, very tricky.
“I making anovver one. It almost da same, but da big ghost is gonna be wed and not gween. It’s pwetty easy to make two! I just gotta make some words.”
He has quickly gone the route of many a Hollywood exec and has opted for the sequel. More drawings. More models. More feverish movement as his body races to keep up with his creative thoughts.
“Mama, da ‘Happy Ghosts Number 2’ got volcanoes and lava and giant cwabs to chase dem into da lava! Tiwed people give up, but one guy kept wunning and said, ‘I am a good wunner! Suh-pwize! I can wun for two days and you can’t!’ and den da wunner and his mustache made him beat da cwabs and ghosts. Da End.”
A K’Nex crab is racing around our kitchen. Crashing into the stools and one of the the three highchairs. Two of them have trays, but Graham’s was converted awhile back to sit at the table. The crab is determined to get more ghost food for his ally. I am not sure what power this ghost has over the giant crab, but Graham can’t give away all his secrets before the release of his movie.
“But it’s not over! Dey popped hot popcorn to burn up all da ghosts and da machine. I forgot to tell you about da machine. Now, it Da End!”
The machine is a conglomeration of building materials and is piloted by Dusty Crophopper. I look around my kitchen and think it was so much easier to get a glass a water when Bess couldn’t reach everything on the couch. But I wouldn’t trade this for anything. This five-year-old world completely overtaking mine and teaching me about Happy Ghosts.