There once was a time when my youngest son, Luke, said “gorilla” instead of “granola.”
It was part of our routine. I would pick him up from voluntary pre-kindergarten, when he was 4 years old, and we would go home and eat yogurt together, just about every day.
We both love Chobani key lime Greek yogurt — with Good & Gather French Vanilla Almond Granola. We’ve tried other yogurts and other granolas, but they never quite satisfy in the same way as that combination.
“Can I have gorilla?” he would ask.
I started calling it “gorilla,” too. It made me feel connected to him. It wasn’t an inside joke, exactly, because to him it wasn’t a joke at all. To him, gorilla was an oat-based, sweetened additive for yogurt, creating a delightful texture. To me, gorilla was a reminder that this little boy was still learning, still in need of mercy and love, still in need of someone to help him to avoid accidentally dumping his lunch onto the floor.
That was then. Now, Luke is 5, almost 6. Our shared lunchtimes are rare: He’s now in school for lunch every day, and I’m no longer working from home.
But this weekend, we happened to go to the kitchen at the same time. He asked for key lime yogurt, and I plucked two from the fridge.
“Can I have gorilla?” he asked.
Instead of silently waiting for me to retrieve the granola from the top shelf of the pantry, however, he started to pound his chest with his fists and bellow like King Kong. Then he busted up laughing at his own cleverness.
He was wise to the gorilla game. I laughed along with him, and just like that, my little 4-year-old Luke was gone.