Standoff at Wolf Creek

By Rachel Smith

December 3, 2018

Standoff at Wolf Creek

I tell Cory "no" again. I can't help him resurrect dinosaurs using chicken eggs, even if I am impressed that an eight-year-old already knows so much about genetics and paleontology.

“I’m going to punch you,” he says.

Half my height, less than half my age, and a third of my weight, he poses no real threat.

“You'll get kicked out of camp if you do that.” I try my best to sound like my mother. To teach this camp science class, I need her gentle but firm hand.

“I don’t care.”

For a second, I believe him, but he gives in and backs away when he realizes he has lost.

Cory is at a camp for dyslexic children 20 miles outside of Fredericksburg, Texas. We suspect, based on multiple studies, that science is their real superpower, and I have been honored with teaching them. The challenge is showing them that power within.

Cory mentions Percy Jackson, the only well-known book character who is dyslexic and ADHD like Cory himself. For Percy, his disabilities become his superpowers. He goes to a summer camp with other demigods, equally dyslexic and ADHD, and learns to fit in and use his gifts to save the world. This seems to be Cory's path as well. I can't bring back velociraptors, but I can encourage the dream.

Cory asks if he can kiss my hand as he leaves; he saw gentlemen do so when his family went to Paris the summer before.

I let him.

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