Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Book of Dad: Recent Chapters

I go for a run but am interrupted by The Wife, driving past me with Things 1 and 2, coming home from school. Thing 2 has contracted Coxsackie, which is highly contagious. Thing 1 is sitting next to him in the backseat, looking unhappy. I pull him out of the car, and the two of us walk home together. He skips happily ahead of me, arms swinging back and forth in his floppy, oversized shirt. Then he stops and turns around, with a very serious look on his face, and says, "I've got to get to a junkyard soon so I can start making my water-powered car. I just need to figure out how to get the water boiling to make it go." Then off he skips again.

I am driving Things 1 and 2 to a restaurant, to have dinner with their grandfather and grandmother. They are in the back seat, playing with something they have decided is their shipboard computer. "We're going to the restaurant planet, right, Dad?" Thing 2 yells. "Right," I say. "Are we going into hyperspace yet?" "Not yet." "Can I count down when we're ready?" "You absolutely can."

Thing 2 finds a dinosaur book he likes at a used bookstore where we have nearly endless credit from our last book dump. We bring it home and start to read it at bedtime, only to discover that it's a wacky, creationist account of the dinosaurs, explaining how they lived among people (specifically Noah), and how their fossils aren't as old as those dumb old scientists think. I whisk the book away and explain that it's full of mistakes (I may actually have said "lies") and that I need to return it. Thing 2 is devastated, even when I promise to get him a new dinosaur book. He is eventually placated, but Thing 1, the scientist in the family, and a serious student of all things dinosaur, asks me about the book for days thereafter: why would people write that? Why would they say things that aren't true? I think I'd almost rather have the sex talk.

Thing 1 also has taped a picture of a triumphant Obama on his bedroom door. At age 8, he was VERY concerned about this election, and insisted on staying up to watch the returns. He fell asleep in our laps long before the end, but The Wife woke him up later to let him know Obama had won. He grinned and said, "Thank you, Mommy," and went back to sleep.

"I love you all the way to the moon and back."
"Well, I love you all the way to the sun and back."
"Well, I love you all the way to the end of the galaxy and back."
"Well, I love you all the way to the end of the universe and back."
"Well, I love you all the way to the end of the universe, and then even farther than that, and then back again, and then out again, and then back again, a hundred times."
"Well, okay then. I guess you win. Good night, Sweeite."
"Good night, Daddy."

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