As summer ends and fall begins, my family has many special occasions to celebrate. My wedding anniversary and my 2-year old son X’s birthday have just passed and now it’s time to celebrate my son, N’s turning six.
N is a precocious child who keeps my wife, KayEm, and I laughing and scratching our heads in amazement at the things that come out of his mouth.
One night at bedtime, he grabbed my hand and led me to his bedroom.
“Daddy,” he said quietly. “I have to tell you something.”
“What is it, son?” I asked.
“Some of the kids at school say bad words.”
“Really,” I said. “Like what?”
“I can’t say them,” he responded. “I’ll get in trouble.”
“You won’t get in trouble this time,” I assured him. “Just tell me what they say.”
He looked around his room to make sure that no one else was listening and then whispered, “They say butt.”
“Kids will say words that are much worse than that,” I said.
“Like what?” N asked.
“I’m not going to say them to you,” I said.
“Why not?” He asked. “Will you get in trouble and go to hell?”
All I could do was shake my head.
But he really confounds us with his “What Would Happen If…” questions. Here are a few of his latest ones:
What would happen if a little boy saw a little girl naked?
What would happen if I took a bath in root beer?
What would happen if there were white people in our family?
What would happen if I drown and was eaten by a shark?
What would happen if bugs built their own cars?
What would happen if I swung across a pit of lava on a vine?
What would happen if trains drove on the road and cars drove on railroad tracks?
What would happen if our car turned into a Decepticon?
What would happen if I could transform into an airplane?
What would happen if I went to work and you went to school?
These are the things that his six-year-old mind is pondering. I’m afraid to think about the thoughts that will fill his teenage brain.
I was thankful that I got to spend some time with N on his birthday this year (last year I was stuck in a desert in Iraq). Unfortunately, I could only spend a few hours with him because I had to leave for another business trip. I joined N for lunch at his school. Although he enjoyed this birthday surprise, he was ecstatic about his birthday present.
A few years ago, when I sold toys online, I bought a Hot Wheels race track to sell. I decided to keep the track for N to play with, but he was only two and the recommended age was eight. For the past four years, N has stared longingly at that racetrack wishing he could play with it. K and I decided to let him have it this year (yeah, I know he’s not eight yet, but why torture him any longer).
N tore into the wrapping paper like the Tasmanian devil. His eyes danced and his face became one big smile when he discovered it was the racetrack he had been coveting. Unfortunately I was not there to experience this moment, but the heartfelt thanks and bear hug I received when I returned home was good enough for me.