Conversation with Jordy, My Nephew, Turning 10 on Thursday
Sunday night I gave my nephews, Jordy, 10 on July 7, and Ryan, 8 on July 4, a book I wrote for them: “Jordy and Ryan at the Superhero Museum.” I'd written them a picture book, in verse, three years ago in which they were superheroes, Soarin' Jordan and Flyin' Ryan, but this was, as the kids say, a chapter book. Jordy immediately began reading it. After the first chapter, which deals with me coming down into the basement, where Jordy is playing Wii and Ryan is playing with Legos, and the two get into a fight, and after much back-and-forth I introduce the idea that there might be a superhero museum we could go to if they were good, Jordy looked up at me.
Jordy: Uncle Erik, is this contemporary realism?
Me (startled, practically gagging): Do you know what that means?
Me: What does contemporary mean?
Jordy: Like... now?
Me: Good. So does the story seem like it's happening now? In this time period?
Me: And does it seem real?
Jordy: Yeah. Except for the superhero museum.
Me: Right. So maybe it's magic realism more than contemporary realism.
Jordy (nodding): Maybe.
Fifth grade next year.