I got up on Saturday, like I do, and when I was finally too hungry to deal with it, sat on Spawn on they finally agreed to get the hell out of bed. I find out Spawn has decided to invite Schnookums to breakfast.
They have been going strong since February, truly a record even among adults really. I had also still yet to meet them. I was honestly surprised when Spawn told me Schnookums was coming.
me:”Aw shit, does this mean I have to put on a clean shirt without holes?”
Spawn then informs that they think their mom might be just dropping off Schnookums, possibly with their two younger siblings.
me: “You mean a woman I’ve never met is entrusting me with not one but possibly three of her children? Do you not understand there are people who KNOW me that would never do that?!”
Apparently, Spawn had misinterpreted things, but I was indeed being entrusted with one of her kids. Mom and her brood of three flew in, we shook hands, chitchatted a bit and she flew back out leaving Schnookums behind.
Schnookums was a quiet little soul with an adorable face, very intelligent looking glasses (much like my own, ahem) and probably more wisdom on some things than a person their age should have to be, and insanely gullible in others. I could see the shyness, but it was more based in a fear of saying something that might get a weird response than an actual fear of interaction. In fact, Schnookums seemed very eager to interact. After about half an hour, I’m wondering what the hell Spawn was talking about when I was told this person took a month to work up the courage to share a table with them at lunch.
Schnookums told me about having had a few seizures in the past couple years, but they thought it might be from lack of sleep, so they had a strict bedtime.
They told me about all the places they are getting bounced around to this summer, dad and stepmom soon, then back home for a bit, then to grandma’s. They told me how their stepmom was really strict. I asked them why they thought that was, and they said “because she hates me.”
I asked if they realized the wrath of hell that might descend on their stepmom if so much as a hair on their head were injured under their care. Schnookums got quiet for a minute and said “I never thought about it like that.”
They talked about their irritations with their siblings and various unfairnesses. They told me about the uncle that had promised to one day build them a computer (after finding out I’d done this with Spawn’s) only to never deliver. Schnookums had a lot of pent up frustration with the adults in their life, and I guess I was non-adult enough to be a sounding board for their frustration.
They also talked about how they really didn’t get religion and I’m condensing it in adult language, but they felt it sounded hollow and pretentious to them… and essentially bullshit. I kind of went on to describe how I realized when I was their age, I had no faith. None at all. Up until that point, I’d sat in the front row, took notes and pelted the pastor with dozens of questions they could never really answer and I realized all this in a shitty little bible belt town with no one to talk to about it and no name to really give it.
I went on to say that Spawn however was a believer and I’d always felt that faith and belief systems were all a personal journey, even if it sometimes had to be a quiet one considering where we lived and limitations we had to be in discussing it. I never wanted my beliefs to corrupt Spawn’s own thoughts on it and in just my limited time, I had a vast assortment of many religions in friends and former family close to me. Our only commonality is we didn’t judge.
It’s sad but I live in a state that when surveyed, felt that they would rather hire a gay believer than an atheist. I’m not sure whether to consider the openness for this racist, bigoted little state on one hand somewhat progressive, but its rather insulting on the other too. Kind of a double-handed insult on both ends since why does it matter about either?
Schnookums went on to tell me how their mom was the superhero fan, but they’d never heard of Free Comic Book Day or May the Fourth be with you. Their stepdad was this outdoorsy type, which is why so many weekends they had to spend it hiking. They went on declare to how much they hated it.
Some of the general comments made by this kid while talking, the dry humor especially, at one point, I said “you’d make a really good Lex Luthor type… the evil businessperson plotting global takeover.” To which, they responded “yeah, that’d be cool.”
I immediately like this kid. We ended up chatting until Kim had to close the cafe and I had Schnookums text their mom to make sure it was ok to hang out at our house. Since their mom had dropped off Spawn once, I knew they knew where we lived.
Spawn and Schnookums played on the PS4 on a game I refused to play (I suck at side-scrollers). Schnookums used as many opportunities as possible to touch Spawn’s arm or shoulder or back, while I casually peeked over Spawn’s monitor under the guise of playing Skyrim.
After awhile, the game lost it’s allure and I was once again pelted with questions and observations by Schnookums. They seemed to heave a sigh of relief when I mentioned something about how girls start growing faster than boys and its about the first year of high school when the boys not only catch up but usually fly past. Spawn is not bothered by their general size disparagement but I can tell it bothers Schnookums.
I have never understood this about myself or my home or maybe the environment I create. Spawn’s BFF and their sibling were the same when they came to stay with us one weekend. I was needled to death and pelted with one question after another. It was exhausting. I asked Spawn why in hell kids were drawn to interrogating me, did they smell some weakness I didn’t notice. Spawn just said “because you answer them?”
Damn, that’s just fucking sad.