Cash & Dad's Fifth Year
Being your parent is entering every conversation in the middle. You are a ticker-tape talker. No audience is necessary. You are perfectly happy talking to yourself.
Dialog with you means leaping between Cashy diatribes into a fleeting gasp of breath. Missing is being struck by your train of thought. You've even reflected on the problem yourself:
"Dad, why won't my mouth stop talking?"
Good Question. Unfortunately, your brother is also a monologian. In our house, competing confabulation trains run in opposite directions but on the same track. Collision is inevitable. So, we dread the following five words:
"Its my turn to talk!"
Portending a crash, this steam whistle thrusts me into the role of traffic controller between two boys whose sole interests are Ninjago and Star Wars. Nonetheless, rationing out airtime slots on whether Sensi Blue or Skywalker is better with a saber is preferable to the violence these very shows condone. Parents tell me I'll miss this period when you are older … hmmm.
Now and then we have quiet in the house (usually during intense lego building exercises). I’ve learned, however, that a silent Cash isn’t a quiet minded one. You are always noodling on something. Engaging an otherwise quiet Cash is, again, entering a conversation in the middle.
Yesterday when I got home from work you were quietly building a lego race-car of your own design. I asked,
“How was school today? Any girls try and kiss you?”
My line of inquiry was ignored altogether.
“Dad, are we Jewish?"
Clearly, I interrupted an internal powwow. Attaining the same plane as you is challenging, a puzzle. The pieces are disparate and I try sorting them out, usually with follow up questions.
“Cash, we aren’t Jewish but my friend Gregg Brown is, at least most of the time. Why do you ask?”
“What if God made everyone babies at once?”
Responding to a question with a question is a typical Cash move. Embedded is a breadcrumb of theme, in this case God and perhaps reproduction. Still, I usually remain pretty much lost. In this case, I engaged anyway.
“We’d all be very hungry. That reminds me, when are you going to help with breakfast? Anyway, why do you ask? Has someone told you about making babies? If so, who?"
“Dad, who are the people that celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Do they like God?”
The third round of questions always annoys me. I typically reply with a partially correct but somewhat misleading response because, hell, maybe its your turn to be disoriented.
“The people that celebrate St. Patrick’s Day are in Ireland and Savanna. I’ve seen the Savanna river dyed green to celebrate.”
“Dad, is God everywhere?”
Now this is a question I’ve heard before, from one Luke Moore Weller. So I have a tried and true answer, definitive enough to exit the conversation maze, albeit still lost.
“Yes. God is everywhere, even inside you and me.”
As I walked away from the exchange, you make a request.
“Dad, come here.”
I walked to you. You motioned that I should lean down. You grabbed my head, put your forehead to mine and looked directly into my eyes and exclaimed,