Devlin has changed his ‘blog” name from Squawk to Notch (i have too much uneasiness calling him Squawk these days – dude has come a LONG way and puts in the effort and learned to hold his pencil the “kindergarten way”, and print his letters the “kindergarten way”, and can recite both the Pledge of Allegiance and October Gave a Party – with eloquence)
i asked him what he’d like to go by in our story since i felt like he outgrew Squawk. We all get to outgrow or hang on to a few alter-egos at a time. (i’m taking on Captain Mad Beets for the winter)
At first he wanted to go by Diedle Diedle (his second imaginary friend – who was cast off last spring due to pointing a gun in the wrong direction and shooting his face off. i shared my reticence in using the same name)
then he was thinking about Budhi Udhi (either boy or girl). His first imaginary friend. He also met his demise this spring due to a grizzly bear attack.
they used to pick Notch up on their motorcycles and go camping wherever they wanted. they also rode lawnmowers together. i think they ate a lot of brats and bacon and drank lemonade.
he explained to me recently that they were all i-mag-i-nar-y (he said that, five-syllables). made up. not even real. even Napkin and Jessica. Napkin bit it this spring due to over-exposure. not being prepared. i’m not sure what happened to Jessica. but i do remember once their mom was in a wheel chair from a spinal cord injury.
Those homies used to fly down in a helicopter and pick Crit up here at the Moose Willow and fly her back up to Alaska. They were her sisters and they ran a yoga studio/pancake shop. you could get gluten-free blueberry pancakes. and beet-carrot-apple-cucumber juices on the rocks. also La Croix, kombucha, chai, or sleepy time tea. visitors always welcome kinda place.
it is quite a lesson to see what these children of the wilderness manifest as their wildest dreams and their realest nightmares. its living at a level of life-intensity that most elementary school children are sheltered from.
We settled on Notch as Devlin’s new story name. I’ve been calling him Notch since the day he was born. He has this special Guardian Angel chomp taken out of his left ear. i’ve never drawn a picture of him without it.
He was amenable.
So…one quick story about Notch that had been tumbling around my brain lots lately:
we took the wee peeps climbing for the first time this summer. the mosquitoes were horrific. awful. dreadful. we brought the thermacell and practiced breathing to control our CNS while Deep Woods set up the top rope.
Notch went first. he made some moves swiftly and confidently. other places he froze and struggled. each time he wanted to quit and come down, he went further instead. he made it to the top of the climb. i was belaying him, but i could not see him from where i was.
i shouted up “Yee Haw! Hip Hip Hooray! So Rad, Devlin! Such a problem solver! So strong!”…and all the other things you might think i would have said. and then i shouted up for him to take a seat for a minute and look around.
he did. and it was quiet for a moment. then he shouted down:
“i am feeling really happy right now. i’m going to just sit up here and be happy for a minute, okay guys?”
Notch told me when he was 3 that he felt just like Winnie the Pooh. he could not have identified himself better. dude is a special kind of zen.