“Can I hold your baby?”He was a skinny kid who was all legs and arms. His last growth spurt must have ended five minutes ago. The cracks between the fence were big enough for him to peer through into the backyard, although I assumed the smell of meat sizzling on the barbecue was what first snagged his attention.
The rest of the baby’s extended family ruffled their feathers. Of course we weren’t going to hand over our youngest relative to a stranger. Harrumph. The very idea of it was absurd.
Sometimes rhetorical questions beg to be answered though.
In my mind he has a much younger sibling. He was about 10 when his little sister was born, and the excitement of no longer being an only child has never fully worn off. It probably helps that they only live in the same household half of the time. No sooner does it grow a little vexing to live with a preschooler than the custody schedule dictates that it’s time to head back over to his quiet, orderly home.
School was frustrating before he was diagnosed with ADHD. He’s on the honour roll now! His new medication really helps, but he doesn’t take it on the weekends. Sometimes that leads to him saying the first thing to pop into his mind or bouncing from one activity to the next. Luckily he’s had the same core group of friends since Kindergarten. They’re used to his quirks, though, and ignore most of the dumb stuff.
Is any of this true? It probably isn’t, but these are the things I think about when strangers do or say something bizarre for two reasons:
1) It helps me feel more compassionate in situation where I’d otherwise be annoyed, frustrated, or confused.
2) As a writer, it’s interesting as hell to come up with plausible reasons to explain why people act the way they do.
Everyone has a backstory. You just have to discover it.
Whose backstory have you imagined recently?