Recreation

My Son Turned 100 Today

Here is a picture that my seven-year-old drew of himself at 100–to celebrate the 100th day of school.  photo (46)

I love his red hair–which is brown now, and that he gave himself glasses in his old age. I could make out the cane easily enough, but I was confused about the thing he was holding in his other hand: A wand? A microphone?

“What’s that pink thing you’re holding, Hayden?”

“A lollipop!” he says, matter-of-factly.

Of course it is. If anyone will be eating lollipops at 100, it’s this guy.

Thanks for the glimpse into your future, Hayden. Enjoy every decade!

 

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And you thought YOU were busy! Check out my seven-year-old’s TO DO List.

Hayden brought these Post-its home from school the other day. I asked if the teacher assigned them the job of making a list. He said, “No, a few of us just wanted to make them.” I love how he put the heading at the top of each page–with an exclamation point! Please read til the end–he saved the best for last:)

photo (37) 1. Go on bus.

2. Go in school.

3. Learn (how to spell).

4. “Special” is the term for a rotating class-Art, Gym, Music…

5. Go home.

photo (38) 6. Have a snack.

7. Play LEGOs.

8. Have fun at LEGOs.

9. Eat dinner.

photo (39) 10. Watch TV.

11. Go upstairs.

12. Brush teeth.

13. Floss good.

14. Pink–Pink is what we call their flouride rinse. So glad that I put the fear of the dentist in them–can you tell?

photo (40) 15. Go pee.

16. Go in my bed.

17. Jump and do armpit farts! The boy is lucky he hasn’t cracked any ribs he’s been doing so many damn armpit farts.

Lego Minifigures: The Funeral Series?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe boys and I have been spending a lot of time in the fields behind our house. The weather has been picture perfect, and our two new dogs, Huck and Rosie, are frolicking like young pups should. There are moments of pure joy–like when I watch the boys smiling as they race the dogs in the tall grass–and there are moments of pure annoyance–like when the boys want to play Simon Says. There’s so much I love about being a dad, but I really can’t stand children’s games: “Simon says, leave me alone!”

The highlight of these walks involves  little pockets of conversation we have between picking up dog poop and wiping away tears because someone got attacked by a thorny branch. Take this conversation from earlier in the week:

Owen (8): Dad, when I grow up, maybe I’ll work for the LEGO company and I’ll design LEGO lands and stuff.

Me (43 for one more day): That would be so cool, O.

Owen: Yeah, and, and like maybe I’ll be in charge of making LEGO minifigures, and I’ll make one of you.

My heart swells with pride. My boy wants to make a LEGO figure out of me! This is the epitome of love and respect coming from a third-grader.

Owen: And I’ll make him have glasses, and bald on top with a patch of hair under his chin like you have, and he’ll be holding a cup of coffee.

MY BOY. I can see the figure now, sitting on my desk, inspiring me as I write another one of my best-selling books. But wait, what’s this? I’m awakened from my daydream as I hear Hayden calling out something a few feet behind.

Hayden (7): Yeah, and we’ll bury the minifigure with you because you’ll be dead by then. Lego-Spooky-knight-

Me: NOOO!

I envision my gravesite, on a similarly beautiful afternoon, with mourners tossing in LEGO figures the way others would flowers.

Hayden: Yeah, you’ll be dead by then, right? Well, wait, when do people die again? Seventy? Eighty?

Me: Well, it depends. You have to take care of yourself so you can live longer. That’s why you shouldn’t smoke, or lecture-lecture-lecture, blah-blah-blah…

Owen: Yeah, Hayden, look at Pop‘s dad. He’s still alive and he’s 98! That means he took care of himself.

At this point I make some lame attempt to explain to the boys the theory of “everything in moderation.” I tell them how too much of anything is bad for them, and then I give some terrible analogy about ice cream. How they eat ice cream most nights, but if they ate an entire container every night, they’d probably be unhealthy. I mean this from a cholesterol standpoint, but I miss the mark.

Owen: Then you’d be so fat, you wouldn’t be able to leave the house.

Me: Well…here I try to defend overweight people but the moment is lost…

Owen: Dad, how DOES Santa get down the chimney? I mean, he’s fat. Really fat, right? How does he do it?

Lego_SantaAnd hear we go again–Santa! Everything comes back to Santa Claus.

Me: I think he uses a magic dust made out of snowflakes (Oh, God. am I encouraging drug use for them down the road? I wonder.)

Owen: I KNOW Santa’s real, because we get gifts on Christmas that are signed From: Santa.

He reaches out to hold my hand, wanting me to reassure him that Santa does exist. I think, yeah, third grade, that’s when the doubt reaches its highpoint. I hold his hand firmly. I watch his little brother bounce ahead of us with the dogs. I breathe in the fresh air and then it dawns on me that there are three topics my sons never tire of: LEGOS, Death, and Santa.

This conversation has become the most exhausting thing about my day. I go from being immortalized as a LEGO, to my untimely death, topped off by the reminder that Santa’s days are numbered, too.

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll walk the dogs after bedtime. Alone.

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Image 1,2,and 4 courtesy of Johnson Cameraman

Image 3 courtesy of Lego-wiki

Happy Everything!

Whatever holiday you may be celebrating this time of year–or not–I hope that you are able to enjoy some special time with the people you care about. There certainly have been many hardships this past year, but let us try to remember all of the kindness and wonder this world still has to offer. Once again, let children serve as our reminder to embrace the simpler joys in life. For each of us, my wish is the kind of genuine laughter that these two elves–I mean, boys–below seem to bring out in each other. May you continue to cultivate love and joy in your little corner of the world, and I will try to do the same here. Happy Everything! Dadicus

photo (15) (1)