(I hear the door open and the sound of little feet on the tiles as I am taking my shower this morning.)
LAD: Dad, you wanna hear about the bad dream I had?
LAD: I dreamed we were at the McBrides’ and in their back yard there were a bunch of spiderwebs and there were tarantulas all over them. Then the tarantulas started jumping at us to bite us.
DAD: …I don’t think tarantulas make webs, do they?
LAD: They borrowed the webs.
DAD: Oh. Do tarantulas bite people? I don’t think they’re poisonous.
LAD: They do.
DAD: Where did you read that?
LAD: In [sister]’s spider book.
DAD: Didn’t that book say that the only two kinds of spiders dangerous to people in the United States were Black Widows and Brown Recluses?
LAD: Well these tarantulas weren’t from the United States.
DAD: You want to hear about my good dream?
LAD: (sitting on the toilet indian-style) Sure.
DAD: I dreamed I was a young man all alone in the world. And I got married and I had a son. And I loved him. The very day he was born I held him and I looked at him and I said, “I’ve never met you before, but I already love you.”
LAD: (laughing as he heads downstairs) You shoulda loved me before I came out.
Here’s what our third child looks like right now:
“He is capable of surviving outside the uterus.” We are permitted by law to kill him if we want to. Of course, we don’t need religion or anyone telling us to know that there’s a contradiction between that proposition and the prohibition of murder.
Even a six-year-old gets it.
But then, the six-year-old has not yet learned to choose which truths he accepts, and which he is going to pretend aren’t real. And a six-year-old doesn’t need a video listing the latest advances in fetal biology to see them.
It takes a grownup to pretend he can’t.
Thanks, dear reader, should you ever find me, for being my gadfly.