One of the joys of fatherhood is the opportunity to capitalize on the naivete of your children. Sometimes there is a perfect storm that combines a prime question from a child, an onery dad, and the right circumstances. Take this morning for instance.....
We are on our thirty minute commute to church and very often we get deeply profound questions from our kids. As we approached a light, the Linebacker Starter Kit (4 years old) stated with confidence, "When we see a red light we have to stop."
"That's true," I said.
After a few moments pause, he asked, "What do you do when there is a yellow light?" All the eyes in the car turned towards Dad.
Now at this moment, I have a few options. I can give the facts, pure and simple. Or I can seize the moment and build in a little comedy.
I chose option two.
"Why son, if it just turned yellow you show caution, possibly cruise right through the intersection....maybe even speed up a little......and you are supposed to gobble like a turkey as loud as you possibly can....." Mom muffled a snicker.
"Really? Mom never does that," said one of the children.
"Ah, yes, but Mom doesn't drive as much as Dad does."
This explanation was received with broad acceptance in the back of the car.
At this point, I am praying for a yellow light before we get to church. Everyone went back to staring out the window, reading, etc.
A few minutes later, as we approached an intersection, BINGO!, a yellow light. So as we moved through the intersection I saw Mom brace herself, and I let out the most blood curling turkey imitation ever uttered.
All six bodies in the back jumped about two feet in the air and I am sure that chickens all across the county turned towards this fowl war cry.
There were a few seconds of quiet as the gobble echoed throughout the car and one of the children whispered, "Driving is really different with Dad, isn't it?"
It reminded me of this Father-Son exchange from the greatest comic strip ever, Calvin & Hobbes:
Q. How do bank machines work?
A. Well, let's say you want 25 dollars. You punch in the amount and behind the machine there's a guy with a printing press who makes the money and sticks it out this slot.
Q. Sort of like the guy who lives up in our garage and opens the door?