Halley Knigge (Griffin)

Write. Share. Communicate.


Today Paul asked me what color the number seven is to me. I guess I surprised myself a little, but he was completely unfazed when I answered immediately with “yellow.” But why would he have been? He was expecting me to answer with a color, and I came through.

I love hanging out with that kid – he’s so incredibly smart and genuinely loves learning new things. We have the most fun and random conversations, and he’s completely riveted when I regale him with tales of the Donner Party, or Black Widow Spiders.

He has a continuous stream of questions popping into his head, and, being seven, has absolutely no hesitation in posing each one to me. From what color I think Thursday is (purple), to how many electronics I have in my house in Tacoma (um, a lot, I guess?), to a description of my favorite day ever (the day in kindergarten when I got to go home early because I had tied my shoelaces together during story time, only to find out that my lost American Girl Doll had been found, and that I’d won a Beauty and the Beast coloring contest all in the same day. It’s a warm memory for me).

Check out this pony from the window of BHV – the disturbing part is that it’s a real stuffed pony:

These rabbits are no less authentic:

Sometimes the more pressing questions on his mind are what kind of food Wilbur likes best (peanut butter and cheese), or if I know any words in Korean (Kamsahamnida, thanks Dad), to my favorite taste in the world (cilantro), to how I feel about Sundays (I love them), or whether I am in love with anybody right now. No matter what I answer, as long as it’s not an “I don’t know,” he’s satisfied and moves on to other more pressing queries.

I thought these guys were awesome. No ladder? No matter.

I think out of everyone, P is the most like an actual little brother of mine – at least banter-wise. He tells me that my sunglasses are ugly, and I tell him that I’m trying to trick people into thinking I’m a movie star. He wants to know if it’s true. I say of course, and maybe they’ll think he’s famous too, since we’re together. I tell him he’s stinky, and he tries to gross me out by eating boogers.

We are constantly trying to outsmart each other – him trying to escape into the upper reaches of his bunk bed without me confiscating his Gameboy, and me of course, trying to confiscate the Gameboy. We take turns reading Lemony Snickett’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Tom-Tom et Nana, and compare our thoughts after each chapter. He tries to catch me with unfamiliar French vocabulary, and I outsmart him by knowing the words (he’s seven years old – we have similar vocabulary skills).

Sometimes P tells me about the girls he “loves” at school, and in turn wants to hear about every boy I’ve ever dated. He asks me each day for gossip about my brothers, and always wants follow-ups on the stories I tell him – he’s anxiously waiting to hear whether Ben has bought new earrings yet, and when Noah plans to take his driving test.

I found my neighborhood on the little model Paris in the floor of the Musée D’Orsay:

And my building!

We’re also constantly teaching each other. I taught P how to play Mancala and about the joys of Legoland, and in return, I learned the names and biographies of each character in Spongebob Squarepants. I know how to say “You suck!” (T’es naze!) and that French ados say tu peux me re-phone for “call me back,” and P is finally beginning to understand what I mean by constantly referring to things as “sweet.”

We really just have a lot of fun together – whether we’re singing “Jingle Bells” to Georges to get him to fall asleep or playing one of his practice songs as a duet on the piano. For a seven year old, he has a great sense of humor. He mailed E a brilliant fake letter from their feared and detested Grandmère that he came up with completely on his own.

Chère Ella, je t’écris cette lettre avec amour. Je veux te dire que ma radio ne marche plus, et je ne suis pas du tout contente. ~ Grandmère

Dear Ella, I send you this letter with love. I want to tell you that my radio no longer works, and I am not at all happy. ~ Grandmère

The greatest part of the prank was E’s reaction: “Grandmère has completely lost her head!” She bought the entire thing, and the fact that it was conceived by her seven year old brother tickles me to no end. P is pretty twisted for such a young age.

Is it weird that my favorite person in Paris is still in CE1 (like second grade)?

Author: Halley (Griffin) Knigge

Storyteller and adventurer with a focus on new and social media. Ten years of award-winning writing and editing experience, eight years working professionally to share compelling stories through brand journalism, three years as an airline spokesperson, two years as a Tacoma Arts Commissioner and 30+ years of learning something new every day.

3 thoughts on “

  1. The drive could possibly be in early january, after the holidays……My room…is clean…(Timpani playing)for the first time since the summer of 2005…(Also Sprach Zarathrusta plays)

  2. The drive test, not just drive

  3. what a kickass little kid! see ya tomorrow butthead-ben

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