I asked them to please do something cute so I could continue to mine them for thousands of millions of dollars on the internet but they refused to oblige. Denying me that, I asked them to do something adorable. No. Then how about something profound that I could transform into a meaningful lesson for my readers to ponder and alter the directions of their lives? No. My daughter just wanted me to take her shopping so she could buy some earrings. In the parking lot, we were confronted by a heroin addict who badly needed a shot, though his sign requested money for his son’s funeral.
“Lola,” I said, “give your earring money to that bum.”
She was appalled. “His ears aren’t even pierced,” she spat.
“No, but he needs a fix and how! Look at the desperation in his hollow eyes. If you give him your money, I could write about your tender charitable heart and expound upon selflessness, how we’re all in this together. Plus I’d look like an incredible dad who raised inspiring children who cared not for themselves, but only for the good of their fellow man.”
“I want earrings,” she said. Very well then. I asked her to at least do something radically feminist. Nope. I urged her to explode into a spontaneous act of kindness toward someone, anyone, of a different color so we could tear asunder the divide between races.
“This Target is all white people,” she replied. She had a point.
And then she had the nerve to buy pink earrings. I considered the way she refused to give money to a heroin addict and how she defiantly perpetuated gender roles with her cute little earrings. All this was against my wishes, was it not? Perhaps my daughter might be construed as a radical feminist in her refusal to bend to the will of her Father, the Man, the Patriarchy that seeks to oppress her in the cage of its will. But this seemed a stretch.
My son is grounded from any device that can be plugged into a wall for getting a C in Computer Science. This, no doubt, implies his parents’ high value on education and the refinement of the mind, but this alone didn’t seem to warrant a post. You have to be subtle when you’re trying to reveal what a supremely fine parent you are. You can’t just trumpet your excellence. Show. Don’t tell.
Confined by his isolation in the real, my son does a lot of staring at nothing, waiting for something electronic to occur by accident. I told him that if he turned to face the wall, I would Google a list of Pulitzer Prize winning novels so he could, on his own accord, read every single one of them to illustrate his industriousness and imply my supremely good parenting. He said no thanks, a depressed robot.
“Well,” I said and clapped my hands to generate some chipper enthusiasm, “sit tight. I’m going to peruse Pinterest to find some crafty ideas for the 3 of us to reproduce and, in the process, convey an image of family togetherness and resistance to the scourge of technology. What say? Shall we reconstruct The Alamo with toothpicks? Use our recyclables to create a Cubist sculpture and take up arms against the values of our throwaway culture?” In response, they turned to stone, statues of my children. A pigeon took roost upon my daughter’s granite head.
My kids didn’t really feel like building a yurt.
To art then! We would employ shamanistic techniques to discover the untarnished luminescence of our truths and express our visions with mixed media to ultimately restore the integrity of animism. They asked if I could perhaps leave them alone. “Leaving you alone,” I snapped, “does not 4 posts a month for Babble make! Cough up some fodder pronto, for soon you will be grown and I will be left with nothing to write apart from a few measly scraps of ghostly memory that make for wistful plunges into nostalgia!”
But they did nothing, nothing worth posting, and we just lived our lives between the lines of what is notable.
Read more from me at Black Hockey Jesus.
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