March Slice of Life No. 19
EN leans in toward me, swinging his leg off the edge of a grown-up chair. His eyes are laughing as he puts his hand up near his mouth like he is about to tell an important secret.
I motion a quiet sign to remind him to keep his voice low. We are sitting together in church. It is near the end of service and the congregation is singing, so the whispering of a 7-year-old shouldn’t be too disturbing. I lean my head toward him a bit to let him know I’m listening.
“Gramma. Last night, when the red lights on the back of our car were on. I put my hand up like this.” EN holds his hand up, almost like a high five. I look at his hand and back at his face.
He continues, “And the red shined on my hand.” He points to the inside of his raised hand and looks at me. A wide grin spreads across his face. I’m wondering what he will say next. He is always coming up with a unique expression, a play on words, a pun, a fact or piece of trivia.
EN’s eyes lock on mine. With his hand still raised, he declares. “I was caught red-handed.”
My grin matches his.
The term redhand or red-hand originally meant having blood on one’s hands after doing a crime such as a murder or poaching. It originated in Scotland and is in print in many Scottish legal documents, dating 15th century and onward. The variation red-handed first appeared in print in Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe (1819). Go to phrases.org for more information about the word–its origin, use, and meaning.
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What a clever child! Love the way you built our suspense along with yours. Priceless!
This is adorable! Im a mom of 3 and my kids always surprise me with their expressions!
So fun! And, again, I love how you link us to something else, something to satisfy that childlike curiosity. And guess what? A university in Ontario just announced a poetry competition about the life of words (The 2018 theme is “Write a poem about the meaning of a word.”) I have already showed my class your post on “brumation” – now we can look at red-handed and off we go – whee! (Special thanks to your word-loving grandson.)
Love this. You never know what kids will say.
So funny, kids have the most amazing insights and literal way of looking at stuff from an entirely fresh perspective!
That was a moment to savor, and you did. So cute!
Kids are so funny! I wish I would have captured things my own children said when they were little. Would have been such great memories such as red-handed!
Somehow children are born with the eyes of poets. Precious.
What a sweet moment, captured and in church! I can see it!
Love that! I still think puns are hilarious! What a smart grandchild you have!
Clever boy! I always love a sparky kid like that!
EN has a quick mind. I love word play, such a great activity for kiddos.
The way kids use language catches us often by surprise. It’s also funny what’s in their head at different times. Why he remembered this during church, who knows.
Ha! How clever of EN. His pun made me smile.