Wednesday, September 21, 2005


This past weekend my wife participated in her first 5K run. The boys referred to it as The Race, and wanted to know which car she would be driving. They were a little disappointed when they found out she was running, but I distracted them by pointing at a fire truck, so they weren't completely crushed by the news.

A good time was had by all, aside from a crippling injury to one of my wife's running buddies and the complete and total panic that occurred when the oldest two boys ran off to watch a helicopter land.

The run was part of a festival of sorts at Mercer University's Atlanta campus. There were helicopters, fire trucks, face painting, and moon walks for the kids, a 5K run for the moms, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the dads.

The boys had never been to a college campus before (that I could recall), so I took the opportunity to get a good, early word in for Higher Education. I chose my moment well, beginning a casual discussion as we were leaving, "This is a college. It's a very special kind of school."

Timothy took the bait. "What kind of school is it, dad?"

"Well, you know how you sometimes work on math, and sometimes read books, and sometimes work on science at your school?" Nods all around, except for Jonah, who was stomping on ants. "In college, you do these things in different classes, with different teachers."

Blank stares. Had I quit then, I would have failed.

"And . . . and you can study anything you want."

Ding. "Like science, in its own class?" asked Timothy, scarcely believing what he was hearing.

"That's right." Like a traveling preacher, I was warming up to my crowd. "And you can take a whole class on spiders" (he had commented on the dew-covered spider webs all over the bushes on campus as we had walked in that morning).

At this, I thought his eyes would nearly pop out of his head. Then he really got going. "So I could spend a whole year on spiders, then another year on mammals, then another year on birds, and then . . ."

At this point, words failed him, and he just stared ahead as we kept on walking. One down.

With Timothy out of commission, Stephen chimed in, "I want to take the classes Timothy is taking."

Hmmm. Second child bullet coming, can you dodge it? Yes, I can. "So you want to be a scientist too? I thought you wanted to be a doctor."

"Do doctors take science classes?" Big, hopeful eyes.

"Yes, lots of science classes, just like Timothy."

"Coooool," came the reply. That's two.

By now, Jonah was alternating jumping with two feet onto suspected insects of any sort and trying to get into a fountain. I decided to try with him later.

It turns out I needn't have bothered. I now have minions to do my bidding.

That night, in bed, I heard Stephen start in. "Jonah, that place where Mommy was racing today, it was a college," the awe palpable in his voice. "It's where you go when you want to be a scientist, a doctor, or anything."

Jonah, amazed, asked, "a Power Ranger?"

"I don't think so."

We'll work on it.


Post a Comment

<< Home