I had an impromptu meeting with my oldest son Connor's teacher this week after class. She'd done a random literacy test on him and not only had he passed, he was testing above average. She was full of praise for not only him but for his parents as well, and if you could see the change this little boy has undergone since last year and the withdrawn and terrified little kindergartner he was, you'd understand the pleasure this brings to both his parents and his teacher.
On our way home from school he told me about a picture he'd drawn of a dinosaur and how different it was from his "old" pictures. Drawing is another area he's grown in. Before, as with most kids, everything was stick figures or blobs and even getting that out of him was like pulling teeth because he didn't want to try. He'll still ask me to draw something to start him out, but then he's off and filling the page with everything that spills from his imagination.
So now we're two paragraphs in and you're yawning and thinking 'that's great, your son's a prodigy, blah blah blah.' Sorry, that's not where I was going with this. No, instead, let me draw you over here, just past the familiar parental bias to something you may also recognize. Assumption based on parental bias. Huh? I can see by your faces that I've lost some of you, but I can also see knowing smiles. That's right, you've been there before. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, let me give you an example, one that ends up with me looking like an ass. As usual.
At bedtime last night, oldest was churning through his usual pre-bed stream-of-conscious brain dump of everything he'd learned that day or everything he thought I needed to know before I turned out the light and right in the middle of it he asks, "Daddy, is the world going to end?"
Do you want me to finish this or not?
I actually started down the right path, I led with no, but then I got side tracked with a brief explanation of how the sun would eventually run out of fuel and expand past Earth's orbit so yes, one day the world will end. I qualified this by assuring him that this wouldn't happen for billions of years. Hindsight being twenty twenty and all that, I maybe should have stuck with a simple no, the world will never end. Judging by my wife's glare of doom promising dire retribution for my gross stupidity she may have felt the same way. The glare came from across the bed, the middle of which was occupied by a crying six year old. The glare suggested that maybe I should go find out how comfortable my son's now empty bed was, or maybe, better yet, the mini-van. The glare suggested keeping one eye open and all the doors locked might not be a bad idea either.
For those of you without children or you do have them, they're just really young... children have no real comprehension of time at that age. Sure they're all cool with the dinosaurs being wiped out by a massive comet or asteroid or whatever it was, but that was like last Tuesday. Or maybe when mommy and daddy were babies. So unless you want to find yourself way past bedtime stuck in long drawn out story where the government is building us space ships to find another planet to live on and yes, we'll pack all your toys and sure you'll still be able to play with your friends on the space voyage, just shut up. The world will never end, Santa Claus is real and so is the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.
"YOU WANT THE TRUTH! YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"