Friday, December 1, 2017
My 6-year-old told me that the rain comes from Santa Claus. Santa’s “rain” deer, evidently, fly into the air and, using magic, make rain so that we’ll all keep busy (and distracted) while everyone at the North Pole makes presents for Christmas. My son said he didn’t learn that from anyone -- he taught himself, he said.
Getting a 6-year-old dressed in a hurry can be a challenge. Mine often gets distracted and can turn the task into an all-day event. To avoid being late to a particular engagement, I made the chore of getting dressed into a game. “Whoever gets dressed first wins,” I said. And then came the rules: “Okay, Daddy, if I get dressed first, then I’ll run into your room. If you get dressed first, then you run into my room. If I run into your room, I win. If you run into my room, you win. If we both win, we’ll crash into each other in the hallway . . . ” After his 15-minute breakdown of the rules, and after a few “pauses” in the game so I could help him turn his socks inside out and tie his shoes, we successfully became late.
As a young kid, I found riding roller coasters to be horrifying -- the train could fly off the track; the seat harness could break loose and I could fall out; the stilts that hold the track a million feet in the air could collapse and send me to my death. But then I became a teenager -- I became smarter than everyone else -- and I realized people were getting on and off without dying. I learned that roller coaster makers have safety codes and standards, and constant tests to ensure safety. And then I experienced enough life to realize that accidents do, in fact, happen. Shortcuts in the workplace take place hourly. Procrastination and the lack of communication are the differences between “The track is fine” and “There’s a large section of track missing at the bottom of the hill!” And that’s why, at age 33, riding roller coasters is horrifying again.
My 6-year-old son and I were on a pedal boat. I felt motion sickness coming on. I told the kid we’d have to pedal back to shore, that I was feeling sick. The next day, my son said, like me, he got sick from the boat. He proved it with a few lung-shattering coughs and a sniffle. Then he told me he’d have to miss the first week back at school. He assured me, however, that he’d be better again on Friday afternoon -- just in time, miraculously, to play on the weekend.
My 6-year-old son and I were on a walk to the park when we came across a couch someone had placed in front of their house at ...