Carolyn’s Online Magazine
OUT OF THE MOUTH OF A 9-YEAR-OLD
While I nestled down under warm covers on November 27, 2015, scenes of a warm, very special, Thanksgiving gathering ran through my head. We were also celebrating our granddaughter’s 18th birthday.
As I relished this few minutes of peaceful reflection before my day began I heard an almost imperceptible sound. I opened one eye the distance of a cat’s whisker and saw a slight movement in the dim light.
“Good morning,” I told my 9-year-old grandson Marcus, who was retreating from my room.
“I thought you were asleep,” said the child who, in his younger years, would run across the room, yelling and jumping on the lump under the covers.
Not being in my best writing/interviewing mode during the holiday I began asking him “favorite” questions.
- orange (color therapists indicate this is warmth)
- Diary of a Wimpy Math Class
- video games—a lot of games. MLB is the Show. Note: Generation gap appears—what is he talking about?
- besides candy, probably pig. I like pig—bacon, pork
Why do people have different color skin?
- they come from different countries, I guess.
Dinner interrupted us. Later that night I surfed the I’net seeking interview questions. I’ve rearranged the answers to both questioning styles to create a coherent article.
Marcus started the interview when we began our second session.
- I’m 9-years-old, born July 8, 2006, at 5:28 a.m…I think
What five words most describe you? I asked. He said
What do you want to be when you grow up?
- I don’t know. Being a fireman, police man is for younger kids.
If you could invent something that would make life easier for people, what would you invent?
- A teleporter, because you can just move around…if you want to go on vacation you could get there without sitting 5 hours on a plane or 20 hours in a car. I will take 5 seconds.
If you could go anywhere where would you go?
- If it’s somewhere I’ve already been, it would be Florida. St. Petersburg—I don’t know why.
- If it’s somewhere I haven’t been? A few places, I haven’t been across the Mississipi River.
What is your biggest problem in life?
What is the hardest thing about being a kid?
- Doing homework. I have at least 30 minutes each night. I don’t do homework at practices or at games. I’ve been doing homework here. I have to write 5-10 minutes a day. I’m writing a story.
What is the best gift you have ever received? Why was it so special?
- A minion stuffed animal from Santa at the Christmas of 2014. I like that. It’s a minion.
- It’s a good character in a movie.
Favorite Cartoon character
If you could give one gift to every single child in the world, what would it be?
- Food. Not candy. Healthier food. And not broccoli because not many kids like broccoli.
What do you think would be the hardest thing if you were blind?
- To help other people because if you can’t see other people have to help you. Also, to find your mouth.
What is something that makes your family special?
- We like sports. Just needed to think of an answer. Our family favorites are baseball, football, hockey, then soccer.
What is your favorite thing to do with your family?
- When the family sits next to the fire and watches TV, usually sports. We don’t do that all the time, but at special times.
Our family friend Lois asked some of the interview questions.
Favorite television show?
- sports (I presume almost any sport)
What is your favorite sport?
- To play, winter sports, especially soccer.
- To watch, though, it’s probably hockey.
What’s your favorite professional team? Lois asked Marcus.
- The Cleveland Indians. (Of course. What other team? He’s from Cleveland Heights.)
Lois continued: What’s your favorite college team?
- Ohio State University. (Of course. His mother’s family is strongly associated with this university. His shirt has OSU letters on it.)
Your favorite college basketball team. (Lois likes sports.)
- Cleveland State Vikings.
What are its team colors?
- Green grey, and white.
I had to get the questions away from sports. Back to the “favorite” questions.
What’s your favorite animal.
- Probably a dog. A Chihuahua.
Cat? (A good question. We have two cats, Sandy has several felines.)
- Pumpkin. He looked like Little Dog. He was homeless and lived under our deck. We couldn’t let him in because of what critters he might have on him. We fed him. Neighbors fed him. He didn’t survive the winter.
How would the world be different if animals could talk?
- There would be a lot more lovingness with animals.
Were there dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?
- There were none.
Meanwhile, my daughter Sandy and Marcus’s mother reminded me that one year Marcus wouldn’t wear any clothes that Vince hadn’t worn first. He received an OSU shirt and wouldn’t wear it unless Vince wore it first. Vince had to wear it for a while even though it was too small for him.
Why do people get old?
- Because that’s how life works.
What if you never age?
- I don’t know what it’s like to be old.
Who is your best friend?
What is something you don’t understand about grownups?
- Why they yell at kids. Why do they have to yell so loud? When I’m yelled at I feel depressed—no, melancholy. (Melancholy?)
“I’m taking Latin. I learn 5 words a week or 5 Latin stems.”
He provided two examples of stems: sub (submarine) and aqua (water). “What’s weird is that we learned bell meaning war, and ante meaning before. That makes the word antebellum.
“I made up a new language, Maleb. It’s a mix between the names Caleb and Marcus.”
“I don’t want to give away your new language, but could you give me samples of two of the words?”
“akafufu (announces) and whompit (bye).”
LUCKY NUMBER, LUCKY CARD
Do you have a lucky number?
- I like any number that goes along series, like: 2 + 2 = 4, 4 + 4 = 8; 8 + 8 = 16, etc. I don’t like odd numbers. I like numbers that are divisible by a lot of numbers. Not like 25, that’s only divisible by the number 5.
What’s your lucky card?
- Ace of spades because it sounds cool when you say it, and it’s weird looking—the illustration is usually bigger than the illustrations on the other cards. (Have you ever noticed this?)
What are you scared of?
- Nothing—when I’m in the dark and the shades are up and the window is open I get scared at what’s outside. But only in the dark. I know nothing’s out there…it’s just…
This next question was challenging: Would you cheat on a test if you knew you would not get caught? Why or why not?
I told Marcus he had to answer honestly. After he heard the question he asked me what I would do. I made him answer first.
Then I gave him my answer, saying “I would probably be really tempted but I would resist.”
“That’s what I meant,” he said.
Our time ended. I had several other questions I wanted to ask, but I had sufficient information for this article. Thank you, Marcus, for granting me an interview.
Asking these questions provided me an opportunity to get to know my grandson in a better way than I’d done before. If we take time to ask questions, and listen to the answers, we might be surprised at what we hear.