Tag Archives: Youngest Son

Nope, No Fool, He

Hey, dude!s. Barry here with another exciting adventure from the land of parenting a tween-age boy. Fear them, dudes. Fear them.

After dinner the other night, I realized that while my mind is that of a young dude, my body most certainly is not. My youngest son and I sat down at the dinner table to have an after-dinner-pre-before-bed snack. Well, he calls it a snack. I call it a second dinner. The sad thing is, when I look at it, my waist size increased by two inches. He doesn’t put on an ounce of fat. Youth.

Anyhow, here was our conversation.

Son: Dad, I want you to know i am in a relationship.

Me: With who?

Son: Well, she’s a little older than I am.

Me: Do I know her?

Son: Maybe. . .

Quickly, so as not to appear like a total doofus, I started going through the names of some of the girls going to his school. I know most of the parents, so I was doing all right with matching them together. But I wasn’t having much luck picturing my son getting a crush on any of them. And, if he did, I had a feeling I was going to be having some appallingly awkward conversations with a father sooner rather than later.

Me: Ok, who?

Son: She’s pretty well known… and liked.

Me: Oh! Does she have another boyfriend?

Son: I’m not sure. But it doesn’t matter since we got engaged today!

Me, in a high, squeaky voice: Really?

Now about then I was getting more than a little nervous, since I am far, far too young to be a granddad.

Son: Yep.

Me: Well, who is the lucky lady?

Son: Guess. She’s famous.

Me: TV? Movies?

By then I was feeling a bit easier. I had a feeling this was going to be a lot less traumatic — for me — than I had been worrying about. I thought, when did he go to the Hunger Games set? They filmed it here last year.

Me: Who?

Son, with a sly smile: Meghan Fox.

Me, with more relief in my voice than I wanted: Oh. Good choice. You have my permission to marry her. But, I have one question: does she know you’re only 13?

Son: Nope, but she will soon.

All of which goes to show you, kids don’t even pause at considering the impossible. They don’t know enough to know what they want to do can’t be done. I wouldn’t be surprised if that kind of attitude carries him far one day. I just have to hope it’s a bit less far than the bushes outside Meghan Fox’s condo some night.

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Passing

by Richard

When I was growing up in Dallas, I taught her how to swim in our backyard pool. Our families had been friends forever. I went away to college and she grew up, got married and had kids.

This week she buried her youngest son.

The one-car accident occurred when she hit the breaks to avoid a suddenly stopped car ahead of her. Her SUV swerved off the road and crashed. She, her oldest son and her daughter were slightly injured. Her 6-year-old son, who was wearing a lap belt, died on the helicopter that was airlifting him to the hospital.

Her parents were waiting there, at the hospital. Waiting to take custody of their grandchild. Waiting to become the first family members forced to deal with the lifeless body of this once-vibrant, once-laughing young dude.

I never met him, but I kept up with him through Christmas cards, letters, and family gossip. I am the worse for that. We are all the worse for that.

When something like this happens, we all sigh sadly, shake our heads and wonder how the family deals with a tragedy of this magnitude. Let me tell you, no matter what kind of face the family puts on, they deal with it badly. Very, very badly. He was a part of their life. A walking, breathing wonderful and hugging part of their life and he leaves a boy-shaped hole in their hearts that grows bigger with every passing second that goes by without him to fill it.

There really are no words to express the sort of tragedy implicit in this. A child passing before his parents, before his grandparents. Far, far too soon.

I can’t really understand what she’s going through right now. What they all are going through. And, as selfish as it sounds, I hope I never do get that sort of understanding.

What I do know is they are in terrible pain, filled with anger and sadness and inconsolable grief and I wish there was something I could do to ease that pain.

My young dudes never knew him either and keep wondering why I’m hugging them so much these last few days. It’s only natural, I suppose. I want them to know they are loved and treasured and I want to reassure myself that they really are here. And are healthy.

I can only hold her in my thoughts and let her know she is not alone, that there are people who love her and will be there for her and will do anything they can to help.

I might have taught her how to swim, but there are some waters that must be crossed on your own, no matter how much we might wish otherwise.

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For Certain Values Of Motorcycle

by Richard

My youngest son, Speed Racer, is trying out the joys of riding a motorcycle.

Now, before you start getting all up in my grill about letting a 10-year-old boy ride a motorcycle, let me hasten to assure you he’s not actually riding a motorcycle. He is, however, getting the sound of a motorcycle, thanks to my reaching back into the dim, misty days of my own childhood (and probably the childhood of my parents as well) and finding a great little dude trick.

See, Speed Racer and his friend, I’ll call him Spridle, have taken to riding their bikes all over the neighborhood and having a great time. I think they like the feeling of being more mobile than their own two feel will let them. No matter why, they’re loving every minute of it.

They had stopped back by our house for a water break the other day when I heard them talking about pretending they were riding motorcycles (darn video games) and that sparked a memory. I asked them if they wanted to ride around on what sounded like motorcycles. Of course, the answer was an enthusiastic “YES!” With that in mind, we all trooped inside the house and raided the game closet for a bunch of playing cards and then hit the garage to get some duct tape.

You know the drill. We slipped the cards in between the spokes on both wheels and then taped the other end of the cards to the bike frame. Viola! Instant motorcycle sound. They loved it and tore off down the street, trailing behind a swiftly fading brrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmm sound in the air.

Later that day, when Speed Racer got back, he and I shared a great time talking about our own experiences with the whole card in the tire spokes times. He couldn’t get over the idea that I had actually done something as cool as that when I was a kid. I guess he’d assumed I’d been too busy dodging dinosaurs to actually have fun on a bike.

Still, I thought it was interesting that something from earlier generations of little dudes could make its way through the years almost unchanged and still fascinate the little dudes of today, especially considering how hooked they are on the immersive nature of things like video games and 3D movies.

Now, if there were only some way that I could get my oldest son, George of the Jungle, to stop telling dead baby jokes that I first heard when I was in high school all those years ago. I guess some generational hand-me-downs aren’t all that great after all.

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