Gareth develops crushes easily, transparently, ardently. His most recent, on the impossibly glamorous six-year-old sister of a classmate, drove him to chase his beloved all over the toy section of Barnes & Noble, yelling, "Girl! Girl!" because he hadn't thought to ask her name. Okay, it's funny, but it's better than when he would cling to me and whisper, "I want her to come to me," and he was too paralyzed by adoration to allow me to introduce him.
So he found the lyrics to "A Forest" very upsetting. You mean even if I work up the courage to follow the girl who's calling my name into a forest, she might turn out never to have been there at all? No fair!
"He should have brought a flashlight," Gareth declared, wiping his tears.
"That would have helped," I agreed.
"And he could have brought it to his mommy, so she could make sure there were plenty of batteries."
"I would do that for you, if you ever need to chase your dream girl into a dream forest."
"And then he could have followed her into the fairy world. Can we go to the fairy world?"
Um. "The way to get to the fairy world is to use your imagination and your heart and your stories."
Gareth gave me his skeptical look. "You know other ways."
Hoo boy. "All the ways I know begin with your heart, your imagination, and your stories. Honest. Start there."
So now this old Cure song is on the heaviest of heavy rotations in my car. It's what Gareth asks for immediately upon climbing into his car seat, and he'll ask for it again five or six times before we reach any destination. Today Conrad responded to its opening bass riff with wails of dismay. I've considered that response, myself, though it's a song I have liked and will like again.
"Flashlight," Gareth mutters, mentally rehearsing his tactics for the day the song happens to him.