When I got home from work Wednesday night, six year old Tommy was in his family’s backyard, screaming as loudly as he could, “HELLO!”
“Well, hello, Tommy!” I answered back.
He glared at me, put a finger over his lips, and as loudly as he could ordered, “SHHHH!”
I stood beside the fence to his backyard, looking shocked, I’m certain. Not every day a six year old demands a grown up shut up. But Tommy certainly had.
“I can’t hear anything when you talk to me!”
He noticed my befuddled look, sighed, put his hands on his hips, and marched to the fence. “I’m listening to me.”
“No, silly.” He put his fingertips to his temples, and rubbed them. I’d learned that meant he was thinking hard. “I’m listening to…” I could feel the frustration in him as he tried to figure out what to say, “What did Dad call it?”
And it clicked in my brain cells. “Echos?”
“YES!” Tommy leaped with excitement. “Echos!” He grinned, “I’m seeing which way I have to scream to hear myself.” He pointed to the back yard. “I stand in the middle, I look in a direction, and I scream hello. And if I hear myself scream hello again, that way echos.”
“Any luck so far?”
“Not really.” Tommy frowned. “I think I found one echo, but I’m having to test it again, to make sure.” He waved at me, “Now, I’m going to go back to hunting echos.” He headed back to the middle of his backyard, “Goodnight, Mr. William!”
I watched for a minute as Little Tommy stood in the middle of his back yard, looked in a direction and screamed, “HELLO!” as loudly as he could, then listened for an echo. Then he looked in another direction, and screamed again.
And I remembered a time, so very long ago, when I stood in a park one day, and screamed, “Hello!” myself, to hear my own echo.
It’s April 6th, the fifth day of the A to Z Challenge for 2016. Only 21 more letters to write stories for this month.
Please, go explore the A to Z Challenge, and the sites of others who are participating in this adventure.