Malcolm is eight years old. The very act of writing those five words feels a bit like an impossibility. Just yesterday, I swear this to be true, he took his first steps, and now he’s dawning on his third grade year. This boy, he owns my heart. He is my little soul brother, truly, and I look forward to a long life in the woods, on the track and in our own heads, imagineering both individually and together. What follows is his annual interview.
What makes you really happy? What makes me really happy is to be in nature and to do stuff that I really like to do, like walk in nature, and you know, all the other stuff that I like. I like to walk with Zoe and find lots of cool stuff when I’m out in the world.
What makes you sad? I really don’t like staying cooped up in the house doing boring things. That’s what makes me sad, is to not be outside doing what I want to be doing.
Are you scared of anything? Not really.
If you could have any pet in the world, what would you choose? I would choose a dog, for sure. There are a lot of dogs that I like, but for right now, I’m thinking a pug, but just for right now. I’m happy with Zoe. She’s a golden retriever. I still might think about getting a pug, though.
What do you like about being a kid? Well, let me see…I like that I get to do many things that grown ups don’t get to do, like, well, like go on rides that grown ups aren’t allowed on at Disneyland and other stuff.
What do you want to be when you grow up? There’s a bunch of things I want to be. I haven’t settled on one yet. I’m thinking about being a dog trainer and a lot of other things like being a scuba diver, and being an explorer. If I was an explorer, I would go out in the world to places that not even some people have gone to and look at the animals and watch what they do.
What comes to mind when I say magic? Oh, magic! I would say Legos would be magical for me, because when you put them together, the character just comes to life. When you put the last piece on it’s just like, bam, the character just comes to life. It’s like you’re actually seeing the real thing, but in mini size.
Now that you’re eight, is there any big kid thing you would like to do? I look forward to doing some cool things that I used to not be able to do. Oh let’s see, I’m hoping I can do a lot more amusement park rides since I’m a certain height now. I’m hoping I’ll measure up.
What’s your favorite color these days? Green. It’s just that I can see green a bunch of places. You can pretty much see green all over the world: sea turtles are green, seaweed, plants, trees, all sorts of things. You can even paint your house green!
Can you tell me what love is? I can’t really explain it that well. I just really don’t know what love is. I love you, mommy, and also daddy, and I like Oliver, too.
When is a person officially grown up? About twenty years old, or something.
What makes a grown up a grown up? I have no idea. Grown ups do lots of stuff that kids don’t really do, like work and, oh mommy, I don’t know.
What’s your favorite subject in school? Reading! I just like to read because the characters are funny and weird and all those types of things. Reading is fun. Reading is easier than math. Books really make the characters come to life, like they’re actually living inside your head and in the book, and it’s like they’re posed like action figures. It’s like they used to be real characters. (*As a side note, this answer slays me. I never, one year ago, imagined my son would ever say anything like this about reading. My heart is full.)
What is the meaning of life? Oh, I don’t really know this one. I don’t even know the meaning of my own life, yet!
What is the best thing in the world? Right now, basically it’s things that are exciting and adventure-y, the kinds of things that kids like.
When do you feel most loved? There are a thousand times when I feel loved. I feel loved night and day.