“It means ‘I know him’. Now, how does ‘I know him’ mean ‘I love him’?”
Avi stared at me, wondering, waiting. I stared into his live black eyes, feeling Avi utterly and completely here in this moment.
“When you love someone, and you care about them very much… you want to get to know them… you want to understand them…and you want to bring them close to you.” My arm reached out and gently caressed Avi’s shoulder.
His eyes burned into mine, fully, innocently, there. “And…” I continued, “When you love someone, you want to know what they like… and what they don’t like – so you can do for them what they like, and not do what they don’t like… because you want to make them happy.”
Avi’s face burst open in excitement. “Just like I was doing for Chanala!!” he exulted, delighting in his understanding. “First I watched her to see what she likes, exactly, and then I copied that, to give her what she likes!!”
Watched her very, very, carefully, I thought. And only because…
“Because you love her so much,” I whispered.
A happiness of satisfaction seemed to fill Avi.
“Avi! Up to bed, right now!!” Parental supervision intervened from below. (That might be a good thing; otherwise I might have waxed poetic for the next three pages.)
Avi looked at me with sudden anxiety. “But… do I still get the extra credit?”
I grinned. “Absolutely!!”
“Avi!” Parental authority this time.
And Avi scampered up the steps, clutching the paper with his story as he dashed off towards bed.