About the time Evan started getting heavy-duty into Lego's, say, around five years old, he began to speak a language all his own. It was a language, however, that I was able to pick up on easily enough, with little necessary translations. The pictorial Lego catalogs that flooded our mailbox helped me keep up on the dialect.
Then, around about age seven, his classmates at school were kind enough to introduce Pokemon to him. Just figuring out the correct pronunciation of the word 'Pokemon' was tricky enough, but then, trying to understand what the heck is a 'Turtwig', 'Jigglypuff' or a 'Pikachu'?!?!
Next came the Bakugan phase of Evan's life. Once again, the conversations we shared were so often one-sided. He'd be excited to tell me something new he'd learned about dimensions and 'Battalix Dragonoid'.
I tried to show I was interested.
I was not.
I tried not to roll my eyes at him when he'd launch into yet another never-ending dialogue about energy levels and battles.
I waited until he turned his back.
I wanted to keep our lines of communication open so that one day, when the really important stuff came up, he would still want to come to me to talk about it.
But then. It happened. The video game craze got into his blood and he began speaking a whole new language. A language that I truly could not, have not, may never, be able to understand.
You know how when you hear someone speak a foreign language, it seems like they are talking a hundred miles a minute? It's like that when Evan morphs into "Mario Mode."
You say Yoshi did what?
Oh, never mind.
It gets worse when he's in Mario Mode with one of his equal-minded buddies. I start looking around for my passport because I know I certainly cannot be in my homeland.
And yet, he still comes to me, excited over the discovery of a new game that's coming out. He launches into the levels to be achieved and the difficulty and the...
"Hmmm," I'm thinking, "What should I fix for dinner tomorrow night?"
And then, something really cool happened this fall. I downloaded a new game on my iPod Touch one night and started playing it. It was fun, so I played it some more. I showed it to him the next morning while he was waiting for the school bus.
There we were. Mother and son. The rest of the family still sleeping, while the two of us played Angry Birds. We'd curse those pigs for laughing at us. We'd mimic the squawking of the chickens. We shared a common interest.
I played the game some more that day, secretly wanting to be able to play the game better than my technologically savvy offspring. "Guess what?!" I announced when he walked in the door that afternoon, "I made it to level 12! It's really hard." He agreed and we proceeded to compare our personal strategies for bringing certain death to those taunting pigs. We shared a moment - my son and I.