Time was when I had all the answers … to my son’s questions.. why is the sky blue, why is blood not blue, why can’t I fly, why should I eat this stuff …
That was in the old days. They are getting more and more difficult as the years go by, why should I go to school, how can humans have kids before they are married, is the tooth fairy for real? Is God for real?
Now I seem to be using `I don’t know’ more and more in my conversations with my nine year old.
Him: ” Mamma, What should I do now?” (hanging in the air unsaid ..considering that you will say `NO’ to my watching TV or playing on the computer)
Me: “Ummm… read something”
Him: ” There’s nothing to read….”
Me: ” Try the newspaper”
Son throws me a withering glance that I, buried behind the Sunday Edition, am impervious to. I have bought a few seconds of silence
Him: (few seconds later) “Mamma is Captain Flint for real?”
I don’t know
You are not listening
Flint you know
I don’t know
Flint.. from the book I read .. he’s a pirate
Oh, from a book? No, then, he is not for real. Imaginary.
Then is Hook real?
I don’t know
Exasperated .. “OKAY…..WHO Hook?”
Captain Hook ..from Peter Pan
But the name appears in so many pirate books….
Oh.. it does? Then maybe it is based on some real character from long ago
I have decided
Good.. as the seconds go by a niggling disquiet asserts itself in me… What have you decided?
I will be a pirate when I grow up
No..no ..not WHAT, that’s WHO I will be
The newspaper article I was trying to read on the variety of career options for today’s youth suddenly takes on a new and rather too personalised context…
Well…it will be fun. I’ll sail about, I’ll look for treasure…
They do other stuff too you know…
Okay.. I’ll hijack some ships on the way
But you know that they are basically robbers right?
Then why are they not called robbers?
Because they rob on the seas not on land
Son gives me a look of `that’s stupid’ but mercifully lets it go …
Go read about the Somalian pirates in the newspapers..
Dismissively Yeah, yeah, I know the Indian Navy is catching all of them ..
..And you know what happens to pirates that get caught?
Conveniently ignoring my overt hints about the possible dangerous consequences of his chosen profession
Me trying again, “You can be whatever you want..just remember to use the Hedgehog Principle” I know I know …. I should enjoy it
make enuf money from it …
.. jubilantly filling in the puzzled pause…..
U SHOULD BE BETTER THAN MOST AT IT! ..(Thank you Jim Collins…)
Me warming to the theme, happy & secure in my knowledge that being a pirate would fail benchmark 3! ..y’know..genetically coded for it…
How does one get genetically coded?
Well ….. (working out complicated answer about genes and Darwin and ……)
It might be true you know
What might be?
That we are genetically coded by Magratheans
Seeing stupid vacant look on my face..
In an exasperated tone “Haven’t you read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?”
Oh.. from that BOOK ..then that’s not for real ..
How do you know that for sure?
Giving up..I don’t know
Stalking off disgusted …..What DO you know?
Well …. pretty much less and less about more and more.
What does that make me …. a Super UN-specialist?
P.S.: All you parent’s who complain that their kids don’t read books… you should be counting your blessings instead.