I was thinking last night that people don’t celebrate the simple things in life. We’re all familiar with the saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff”. In reality it should be “celebrate the small stuff”. I had such a moment last night. As a point of background I’m a step-father. That’s evidenced by the fact that our 10 year old refers to me as Boris. That’s a recent phenomenon because until recently he referred to me as Bowis. A step-father is like an older brother, a much older brother. He respects me because I’m, well , a lot bigger than he is. He’s figured out that I have some pull in the house. He’s not sure why but he’s come to accept the household dynamics. One thing’s for sure…he’s a lot more afraid of his mother. So I’m an elder in our house, and he knows that I would protect him to my last breath. He feels safe which allows me to experience “real like” father and son moments with him
A simple joy that I experienced with him was teaching him how to ride a bike. He remembers it as well. He rode that bike majestically for forty-five seconds, and then went over the handlebars. It took me four months to get him back on that bike again but he eventually mastered it. I remember the first time he went to hockey camp. For clarity purposes his mom purchased all his hockey equipment (she’s an amazing mom) but she forgot to buy a cup. So there I am in the dressing room, helping him get his gear on for the first time, and one piece of important equipment is missing. So I say to myself, “does he really need a cup…he’s only 9”. So off to the store I go, I purchase a cup, I show him how to put it on, and he’s ready to go. Of course being 9 years old at the time he would walk around the house with the cup on his head saying “hey Boris, look, a gas-mask”. I guess I didn’t help by laughing and saying, “show me the gas-mask again”. It’s the simple things. Well, last night was another seminal moment in the young boy’s life. I took him to see The Three Stooges. Oddly enough his mother didn’t want to go. I’m not sure why woman don’t get the emotional and intellectual depth of Larry, Curly and Moe. There’s more to these men than hammers to the head, eyes being gouged or nose hair being pulled out. So misunderstood. As for our 10 year old, he laughed and laughed. Which of course makes it so much easier to put aside the movie’s plot. The Stooges are a guy thing, a father and son thing.
Looking forward I might get stuck with having “The Talk” with him in a few years. Right now it’s easy, girls are yucky. Any sign of affection on TV or in the movies he covers his eyes and yells, “tell me when it’s over”. That’s so sweet because in a few years he’ll be surfing the net for porn, looking for movies like On Golden Blonde. Today he can’t even bring himself to use the correct words for reproductive organs. If his mother and I want to clear him from the room we booth yell out, PUBERTY! That sends him running. As an example were playing ball hockey last year in our back-yard. He was in net, mask on, goalie gloves poised and pads waiting to be stacked. I was shooting an orange road hockey ball at him. For those of you that don’t know that ball can hurt. So I’m shooting…he’s hot dogging it…so I decide to amp it up a bit. I take a shot and ball hits him just below his stomach, and just above his groin. He wasn’t wearing a cup. He looks at me and says, “you almost hit me there”. Now I have to amuse myself by asking, “where’s there”?
He points! I’m not letting him off the hook, “sorry bud but I don’t understand sign language”. He realizes there no way out but to answer, and as god is my witness here’s what he said, “You almost hit me in my Dick Chaney”. It took me about five minutes to pick myself up from laughing and catch my breath. I had to ask, “How do you know Dick Chaney?” He said, “I always hear his name when you’re watching FOX News”. The boy is clever.
Until next time,