Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day Eve

Guest blogger today: "Daaaaaaaad!" my nine year old son yells from his bedroom about 10:00 last night. Entering his room, I see him sitting bolt upright on the top of his bunk bed, eyes as big as saucers. "I hear bugs in here." Jack has had this fear of bugs for a long time, and for the record, I have done everything in my power to hide my own,...concerns...about bugs from my children. So he did NOT get this from me. "Jack, it's fine. You're just overtired. Lie back down and close your eyes. It's probably just the hiss from your radio." Oh, had I been right. A few minutes later, I hear his cry again, this time with much more panic and passioin: "DaaaaaaAAAAADDDDD!" I run into the room "What?! What now?!" Jack was trying not to hypeerventilate. "It's a HUGE bug! I felt it on my arm..." "Jack, you're wearing long sleeved pj's. For you to feel it, it would have to be the size of a chicken." Big sissy I thought with more than a little sense of irony. "Here. I'll leave the hallway light on, and I'll keep your door open. If there's a bug in here, it'll come to the light." A few minutes more pass before another blood-curdling scream: "DAAAAD! Oh DAAAAAADDD!!!!" I'd had it by this point. I stormed into his room ready to commit genocide. "Jack, what the..." I never finished that thought because at the moment Jack screamed "NOOO!" he swung a tennis racket at my head. "JACK!!!. Put. That. Down. If. You. Hit. Me. I'll. Kill..." "Look!!!" Jack pointed to the wall by my head where a moth the size of a bird had indeed landed. oh god don't scream don't scream, I told myself. After a little chasing, a little shooing, the moth left his room and flew to places unknown. It took about an hour to get Jack settled down and asleep. I had nearly forgetten about Mothtra when I settled on the couch with my book and book light on. You can imagine the rest. Yeah, that bird found the light and flew into my face just as I was dozing. I slapped at it, and my hand actually stung. And I swear this is true--the sound of that moth hitting the wall couldn't have been louder if I had thrown the dog. The only good news is that the kids were in heavy REMs so my girlish screams didn't interupt their slumber. I guess there are some good lessons for fathers. First, the sins of the father truly are passed on to the children. Second, patience and empathy are much easier when you share phobias with your children. Third, some things, like the ability to scream really loudly, must be genetic. Finally and most importantly, when a child plays ball in the house and knocks out his window screen, any bug that enters the abode will not limit their torment to that child. Happy Father's Day to you dads and to all of you who have one. Scott J. Carbonara


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