I only have to hear it -- "eleventeen"-- once for it to instantly become my favorite number.
The best number that has never existed.
Let's play a game.
Take someone who's wanted to be writer since she was nine, and then add a child.
(Oh, not just any child, sure. My child. My gorgeous little boy. Leo. L-E-O.)
And then go one step further: allow the writerly mother in question to indulge in a fantasy she never even had.
Which is: Listening while someone, her little someone, learns to speak.
I've written about this topic before (notably here and here). And even if you love me, you may be blanching right now from boredom and pity (for me).
But, oh God, it is so awesome!
The writer's equivalent of someone learning to walk? Run?
When Leo says "eleventeen," I don't correct him. (Probably not something I should admit.)
It's just so cute. Eight, nine, ten, eleventeen.
I do the same thing when he says "fi-ruh" (for the word fire). Ditto: lello, and hangerburger (to go with your hotdog).
It's the greatest blooper reel ever created, as far as I am concerned.
And besides, why correct him when he says, "I want to swing very higher"?
Swinging "very higher" sounds like something I'd like to do, too.