Monday, December 31, 2012

The Box

Cash & Dad's Fourth Year and a Half

As I entered the River School gymnasium for the Beaver Class Thanksgiving lunch, your teacher, Mrs. Insley, grabbed me by the arm and guided me to a large paper turkey pasted to a wall. She was giggling. The source of her mirth mystified me. For the handwork of four year olds, the turkey looked passible. She then pointed at the splayed tail feathers. Within each feather was a quote from a beaver student answering the question:

“What are you Thankful for?”

Reading through the quotes, I saw the children were universally thankful for their moms, dads, dog and cats -- constituents that buy presents, provide food or love them. The exception was one lone red feather. This child was thankful for:

“The Turkeys that are alive.” - Cash

Seeing me guffaw, Mrs. Insley joined me in outright laughter. What is it with this kid I said. She responded, “Cash just thinks outside the box.”

You do, often publically, entertainingly. Unfortunately, River School makes it regular practice to post student responses to such questions -- a sort of exposition of cuteness I suppose -- at their community events. Your signature practice is to deliver answers that, well, give pause and a laugh. As your parent, I am both proud and a little embarrassed. Other parents must wonder what kind of household we run.

Let’s look at an instance from last year. The question was: “What would you bring on a hot air balloon ride?” Every kid brought his or her parents, siblings and/or a few toys. Then there was this:

“I would take my dog and some money. I would not take Luke in the balloon because he is very silly in a balloon. I want to be in the balloon by myself. I would also bring my movie called Star Wars.” - Cash

Imagine Rachel and me reading this in a crowd of class parents. Embarrassed. Yes. Proud. Even more. Cash, you truly think outside of the box.

I am astounded by the connections you make, how you can turn a thought inside out, and at such a young age. You understand deadpan humor. You know you are being funny. Woody Allen started out this way.

The irony is that a few days ago I witnessed you climbing INTO a box, a cardboard box that you instructed Luke to tape shut once you were inside. He did so delightedly. Rachel spent several tense minutes looking for her lost son before puzzling out your ruse. You enjoyed your joke a minute or two before you realized that, without aid, you were stuck in the box.

The panic that ensued should serve as a lesson, that even the most outside the box thinkers can get trapped in the box!



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