My niece, Jane, I am told, will often toddle around the house, out of nowhere say, "Ben," and then start giggling. I do the same thing, actually, and you would too if you met him, after taking a couple of Tylenol and a nice long bath to recover. Of all my darling children, he is the most mysterious and fascinating to me. I see plenty of myself in Mary and Priscilla. Elijah is a clone, essentially, of my older brother, Bobby. But Benjamin...ah, Benji, he is like an unexplored jungle in that while I marvel at the beauty of his exoticness, I am often holding my breath in a sort of nervous anticipation of the unexpected dangers lurking just around the corner. "HEY!" he called out recently to a woman who was speed walking down our sidewalk. "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE?" and then I froze in utter terror; should I tackle him? Create a diversion? And just when I was assuming the worst, he answered, "PAIGE! YOU LOOK JUST LIKE MY AUNT, PAIGE!" and the woman smiled and Benji went back to wielding a bumblebee handled jump rope like an "Indiana Jones" whip, and I waited until my heart resumed a normal amount of beats per second before kissing him on the forehead. He flashed me a wild smile and then was off again into the recesses of his own imagination - slaying a slobbering Jabba the Hut, rescuing entire cities from the evils of that trickster, "The Riddler," employing every fantastical power in existence to become a super hero.
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