My son and I engage in yet another in a long series of pointless and powerful father/son conversations without ever making eye contact as he plays MegaJump on the iPod.
Boy: My new iPod game isn’t loading.
Me: Yes it is. (I make no effort to investigate the issue, but choose to solve the crisis by pretending it never happened. This not only works for dads, but politicians as well)
Boy: Why is it soooo slow?
Me: You got a new game downloaded into your iPod from millions of choices in 20 seconds. That device connects you to the largest game store in the world and it beams almost instantly from anywhere in the world.
Boy: It’s too slow.
Me: Don’t you have any appreciation of how cool that is? When I was a kid we had to go to stores (crazy hand gestures to explain the concept of “stores” to Kid Jetson) and we had to wait weeks for the latest games.
Boy: No. I’m a kid and I don’t care how long you waited. It’s too slow.
Me: I could make you care.
Boy: Why? (Most kids go right to How as in How will this affect my gaming? He said Why which scared the hell out of me philosophically.)
Me: Because it’s good to appreciate what we have.
Boy: Why? (The ruse is revealed and we have boarded the never-ending Why train making all stops on our trip to Frustrating Crazy Town. Well played.)
Me: Because when we appreciate what we have, we use our gifts better and share them with other people.
Me: Say Why one more time! I dare you! (In my Samuel L. Jackson PG voice)
Me: Because I know the iPod password.
Boy: I love you dad. Thanks for getting me the iPod. I appreciate it.