There was a huge crash from the living room. A second later, New Hampshire skated through the kitchen on his Heelys screaming “Watch me! Watch me!” as he slammed into our refrigerator. New Hampshire is my cousin’s 6-year-old. He won’t eat vegetables, is allergic to gluten, peanuts, latex, penicillin, cats, bees and shellfish. He is, against all odds, overweight. And surly. I can’t tell you how I look forward to their visits.
His parents, Hanna and Pat, had their hearts set on naming him after a state like Indiana Jones but most of the good state names had been taken by the time he was born. In New Hampshire’s pre-K class there are two Dakotas, two Nevadas, a Montana, a Georgia, a Florida, a Virginia, a Tennessee and an Arizona. Hanna thought New Mexico sounded too Latin, Massachusetts sounded too WASPY and Oregon too California. Pat confuses Iowa, Idaho and Ohio, so those were out. All in all, the kid’s lucky he’s not going through life named American Samoa or Dry Tortuga.
There was some worry what nickname his classmates and friends would give him. “New” or “Hamps.” Or something strange or rude. They need not have worried. The kid cannot possibly have any friends. His sister Chardonnay has let it slip that several teachers threatened to put him in “the hole. Whatever that is.” I’ll have to rent “The Great Escape” for her, someday.
“What was that crash?” Sue asked.
“It wasn’t me,” New Hampshire said before Sue had even finished the question. “It just fell over all by itself.”
“What fell over by itself?”
“That big stupid red thing.”
“That big stupid red vase we got on our honeymoon in Venice 32 years ago? That big stupid red thing?”
“Ye-ah, I guess.”
Sue and I said nothing as we waited for the parenting to begin.
“New Hampshire is an Indigo Child,” Hanna said as New Hampshire skated as fast as he could toward me and at the last moment kicked me as hard as he could in the knee. He giggled and then tried to kick me again.
“I’m sorry. We had no idea. Is there a cure?”
Hanna and Pat and New Hampshire all burst out laughing. “A cure? I hope not. New Hampshire has evolved. He’s the next step on the evolutionary ladder. A smarter, better human.”
“You’re saying he’s not human?”
“We don’t let non-humans play in the house,” said Sue, “Or skate,” pushing New Hampshire out the back door. “Can he sleep outside?”
“It’s not a disease, it’s evolution. He’s not a human, he’s evolved past us the same way we evolved past the Neanderthals. That’s why people have a hard time understanding him. He’s on a totally different plane than we are. To him, you and I are little more than cats and dogs that can talk, that’s how advanced he is.”
Hanna carefully explained to us that Indigo Children don’t like to follow rules, they have trouble waiting in line, they are very demanding and insist that they be served first because they know they are special.
“We had a word for kids like that when we were growing up. It was ‘spoiled,’” Sue said.
“Indigo Children are very intelligent. They also tend to be hyper-active and aggressive.”
“Indigo Children? Why do they call them that? Was ‘master race’ already taken?” Sue asked.
“They’re Indigo Children because you can see their aura. They can see the future.”
“You mean he can predict what he’s going to break before he even breaks it? That’s amazing.”
“New Hampshire has evolved past material things. They mean nothing to him. All we can do is watch and admire him.” Someone was on a different plane all right. Pat and Hanna.
“I wish you had mentioned this Indigo Child thing before. Our house isn’t really advanced-being proofed. We don’t have any furniture that won’t break when he jumps up and down on it or the kind of pottery that doesn’t break when he runs through the house at a hundred miles an hour like his hair is on fire. Or can he fix the things he breaks with his superpowers?”
“You sound just like everyone else,” said Hanna. “You’re jealous!”
Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life” and “Baby’s First Tattoo.” You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2007, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.