Wednesday, February 26, 2014
"I shouldn't say this..."
"What is it? Did something happen at school? Is someone being mean to you? Are you worried about something?"
"No, I don't want to say it now."
"You can't do that, now I'm worried. You know you can tell me anything. But, if you really don't want to tell me I understand."
"Daddy, sometimes I wish you weren't may dad."
But I'm a great dad, she always says me that! She even put it in writing.
"But I'm a great dad, you always say that. You even put it in writing!"
"I knew I shouldn't have said anything"
"No, please nina, you can tell me. I'm not upset."
I am upset, but I'm the grown-up here.
"Well Daddy, you know how we're studying the industrial era. We had to write something we'd like to learn about it. And I couldn't think of anything because you've already told me so much about it."
"Oh no nina, the industrial revolution is awesome. We've barely started to learn about it. There are all the different machines and the way they changed people's lives. There were new political movements. Tomorrow, write down that you want to learn about Samuel Gompers. His name is Gompers, so he has to be fun to learn about."
"Samuel Gompers was interesting because... wait, I don't want to spoil it."
"...that's why I didn't want to say anything. Because whenever I tell you about something bothering me you start telling me what to do."
"Oh right. I'm supposed to just listen and agree with you."
"Nina, I understand but sometimes I forget that. Can I tell you something useful to know - boys have a lot of trouble with that. See boys are from Mars and girls are from Venus..."
"But Daddy, I don't believe you came from Mars - you're from Uranus!"
Well done, Nina, well done.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
We are studying astronomy and everyone had to choose a favorite planet to learn about. I picked Uranus.
Uranus is a gas giant. Did you know Uranus has rings?
Hey, what's so funny about Uranus? Stop laughing, don't you want to hear about Uranus?
OK then, I'll continue. Uranus is blue-green colored and most of its atmosphere is methane gas.
What is wrong with you. Get off the floor and back in your seat so I can tell you about the moons of Uranus! Why aren't you proud that I know so much about Uranus?
But that's the name of the planet, my favorite planet. If you can't discuss these things without giggling maybe you aren't grown up enough to study astronomy.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Thursday, November 07, 2013
So I insisted that there would be a late afternoon expedition. We hadn't visited our favorite promontory for hurling rocks into the creek for sometime. (Although we had hurled rocks into other bodies of water fairly recently.)
Joined by the indominatable 3C, we did exactly that, I spent a lot of time playing on my phone - which in retrospect is a little ridiculous when you are surrounded by this:
3C hadn't joined us on one of our "throwing rocks into water" adventures, but was game. She got even more excited when they turned to launching logs into the creek because this required teamwork and coordination. (It's more fun to do than watch, as you can see.)
But, autumn days (like autumn itself) is all too brief. I didn't want us in the woods after dark (lest we truly learn what the fox says.) So we turned home. The trail goes under a major road near our home and close to the creek was a deer lying on the ground.
"Look a deer, I wonder what it's doing there?" 3C observed.
"It looks like it's sleeping," GoofBoy added.
GoofGirl is no fool. "It's dead. Why did it die? Why is it there?"
Thoughtlessly, I observed, "Maybe it was hit up on the road and was thrown into the air and landed here."
"That would have been an amazing YouTube video," GoofBoy exclaimed, then added, "Rough on the deer though."
"I'm sure the deer conducted a full investigation. CSI: Bambi, with deer wearing lab coats and with magnifying classes. Did they drew a chalk outline around the corpse?" I riffed.
"Dad, I don't want to go on this trail anymore," GoofGirl stated flatly.
"Hey nina, maybe the deer died here of old age, after a long life."
"Why would the deer die here?" GoofGirl demanded.
"This was her favorite spot."
"Right, in all of these woods, why would this spot by a grubby bridge be a deer's favorite?" 3C chimed in.
"Well," I said, thinking quickly, "When she was a fawn and it rained she would come under here with her mommy and stay dry. She always felt safe her. Now, after living a long life and being a mommy to a lot of fawns and maybe even grand-fawns, she wanted to come back here one more time. Then, she looked around at the woods and creek, thought about her life and had one last breath."
We walked on the trail. 3C and GoofBoy ahead chatting (possibly a first, ever) and GoofGirl held my hand.
"Daddy," she said, "I know the deer got hit by a car and died and I am kind of freaked out about it. But thanks for trying."
Thursday, October 10, 2013
"You know buddy, I have some contacts. I could call in some favors so you could have a star-studded bar mitzvah," I suggest as I drive him home from track practice.
"What are you thinking about Dad?" GoofBoy asks nervously (and not without reason.)
"What if you had your bar mitzvah party at the Brookings Institute!"
"Does it have anything to do with Brooks Robinson?" he asked warily.
"No, but you could meet Strobe Talbott!"
"He was the Deputy Secretary of State in the Clinton administion," I press on, "And then maybe you could have a special roundtable about Energy Market Regulations and Climate Change Policy! Wouldn't that be awesome?"
"You aren't really into domestic affairs, would you rather have a foreign policy bar mitzvah? We could do it at the Atlantic Council. I hear Brent Scowcroft makes balloon animals. Well, not animals, but balloon figures of old foreign policy hands like, well - Strobe Talbot!"
Believe it or not, there is a method to my madness. If I wear him down, maybe we can do the bar mitzvah party at Dogfish Head! I don't know if his friends will get much out of it - but I know I will. Too bad that while Judaism states that at 13 boys are counted as men, the right to drive doesn't come along with that. It would be so handy if he could be my designated driver.
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
(The pics give some idea of the varied topography.)