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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


Carver may be the most enthusiastic boy I’ve ever met. When it is time to eat, I’ll say, “Carver want bread with butter?” He will nod his head and grin while his response seems to burst from his vocal cords, “Bread! Butter! Yeah! Okay!” He is the same way about going outside, playing with his great uncle George, and finding anything that is spherical (He will carefully pronounce each syllable at the top of his lungs, “Ball!”).

It seems that sometimes during his scheming he is not quite sure what to say. He is still wildly enthusiastic, though, so he must need some way to express it. Somehow, he recently settled on the word, “Chobalai!” to scream out his excitement. It is a multipurpose set of syllables, apparently. He uses it as his war cry, as a celebratory shout, and sometimes in passing as he simply moves from one task to the next. 

We cannot seem to figure out if he is really saying something that we just cannot make out, or if it is a word he’s invented. I keep thinking that maybe the “bolai” part has something to do with “play”, but I suppose we may never know. He also uses a version that sounds more like “troublai”, but as far as we can tell he uses the two interchangeably. 

We are also shouting “Chobalai!” in anticipation of Thanksgiving this week! Avey gets the week off of school, but I still have to teach on Wednesday, not to mention I have a dissertation lingering over my head day and night. Although we do not get to leave town for the holiday, we fortunately have relatives in town who are also pie and turkey enthusiasts. 

We are reminded again of the fortunate circumstances in which we find ourselves. We are healthy, and our home is full of love. There is not much more for us to want (Although I’ve got my heart set on another graduation soon…).


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