It's what my son shouts every time he's delighted, or surprised, or even mildly interested. A squirrel daring across the path of his stroller: AGAIN SQUIRREL! A first responder, careening past: FIRE TRUCK! AGAIN! A burst of rain: AGAIN RAINING!
Of course, I have no control ( yet) over the squirrels. The fire trucks elude my whims and I have been unable to bring the weather to heel. I explain this to my kid -that I'm a powerless mote in an unblinking, heartless world- but it doesn't seem to stick. AGAIN MOMMY! AGAIN! My son wants a do-over the and the universe better listen up.
To be truthful, I'm daunted by his demands. I am tired of singing "Row Row" for the fortieth time. "Honk Honk," that paragon of children's literature, palled after the sixtieth reading. And I feel, acutely, the heaviness of the responsibility he has laid on me- to spark his delight, to bend the world into a gob-smacking, soul-kindling, repetition-worth place.
And yet, in some sense, it's salutary. Wielding his two-syllable whip of a word is my child's way of saying: pay attention. Here's something worth noticing. Twice or thrice or a hundred times: look, again.