Every night for quite some time now, he has had me lay in bed, which is adjacent to his — yes, all four of us squeeze into one bedroom somehow — and wait for a couple of minutes, so he doesn’t feel so alone. He told me that he would feel better if I made a sign to put on his wall that would basically announce to monsters that they were not welcome to come to the room.
I took a blank piece of paper and pen and started to write on it.
“No, no, Tati!” he said in Romanian. “Not with a pen, with chalk!”
I looked up at him — I was kneeling down over a piece of paper, looked down at the paper, and laughed as I said, “Chalk? You can’t write with chalk!” Only pens and pencils and crayons and markers write on paper — not chalk. Chalk, after all, is meant for chalkboards and the like.
He insisted I write the message with the chalk, so I took it and told him I was going to show him how chalk could not be used with paper and then… it wrote on the paper perfectly.
“See,” he told me, “I told you that you could write on paper with chalk.” He was right. I didn’t know it was possible, and so in a way it just wasn’t possible for me… until a five year old Chaim told me that it absolutely was possible.