Monday Smiles -10/29/2012

These are my two favorite anecdotes about my no-longer-children, Aaron and Amy, from a thousand years ago when they were actually kids.   I posted them a long time ago on a legacy blog I’ve been gradually building called A Dad’s Legacy.   Who knows … maybe my kids will read them someday … maybe they won’t.  Either way, they provided a smile on a Monday after my USC Trojans lost, no small feat.  And after I picked a most peculiar movie, Seven Psychopaths for our Sunday matinee.  Yes, it got an 85% on the Tomatometer.  No, I have no idea why.  Yes, the title should have told me: peculiar.  Yes, Muri gets to choose the next one.  Meanwhile …

Hairy Dead Guys

When my son Aaron was eight years old, our best friends, Don and Jackie, lived in San Diego, so we were regular visitors there.   You probably know that Balboa Park is the nation’s largest urban cultural park, home to museums, performance venues and the world famous San Diego Zoo.   Balboa Park was a frequent destination for outings with D and J, and their kids, Monica and Debbee.   One Saturday, we visited the San Diego Museum of Man, dedicated to exhibits about man and his history throughout the world.   Near the entrance to the museum was a glass case enclosing a full-sized figure of a Neanderthal man that seemed to continually draw Aaron’s attention,  even though he never asked about it.   Later, when our day in Balboa park had moved to the picnic phase, Aaron was sitting next to me on the blanket.   He looked up at me and said, Dad, I don’t want to die.    Yikes, I thought, wondering what line of eight-year old thought had led him to contemplation of death.   You won’t die for a very long time, I said as I mentally prepared a suitable tale about a place called heaven … that I wasn’t certain I believed in myself.   However, sounding relieved, he said, That’s good, because I don’t want to get all hairy and be put in a glass box like that guy in the museum.  No explanation about the afterlife necessary, just reassurance that he wouldn’t end up a caveman under glass.

Political Science

When my daughter, Amy, was nine, we took a vacation in Washington, D.C.   I loved Washington and I’d spent a lot of time there.  I knew everything I wanted Amy and Aaron to see, but it didn’t coincide with exactly what they wanted.   I was in my Father Knows Best forties and the vacation was peppered with too many Dad-lectures and kid-sulks.   We visited all the major government buildings, as well as the Washington and Lincoln monuments.  A big hit was seeing money printed at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Smithsonian.  The first night on the way back to the hotel, Amy noticed a brightly lighted structure off to the right.   What’s that? she said.   Oh, that’s the Jefferson Memorial, I answered.  I want to see that, she said.   Now, Mr. Jefferson and his memorial were not on my list of things I wanted my kids to see, so I kept putting it off … and she kept asking.   Finally, the last night we were there, I relented although I couldn’t imagine why she seemed so excited.    When we were in the rotunda looking up at the statue, a quizzical look came over her face.   What? I said.   I thought it was George Jefferson, she said glumly.   We laughed all the way back to the hotel.

So, it’s Monday.  I’m looking back … waaaay back … and smiling.

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