Learning to Count to Bob
by Tina Blue
When my son Michael was 20 months old, I took him and his infant sister to a farewell luncheon party held in the Spanish department for a long-term secretary who was moving on to another job.
At the time, Michael was very much into counting to ten, and whenever a number of things were available to be counted, Michael would point at each one in turn and count, "One, two, three, four, five, six . . ." all the way to ten. If there were more than ten items, he would start over at one, and continue counting, "One, two three, four, five, six. . . ."
The party at the Spanish department was well attended, and although my (then) husband, who was a professor in that department, was in Mexico at the time, most of the other Spanish professors were there, including Bob S., who was probably my husband's best friend.
Because Bob was such a good friend of Michael's father, Michael had seen him quite frequently and knew him well.
As we sat at the table in the conference room where the party was held, Michael began to count all the people, pointing at each one as he did so: "One, two, three, Bob, five, six. . . ."