Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks

I'm not a big "Happy Holidays" type of guy. First of all, I don't have that many people in my life that I want to spend unnecessary time with, even if it does mean free food & gifts. I just don't consider that an even exchange. When I was stumbling through life drunk, I was the polar opposite. I thought I wanted to see everybody, all the time, & had to be the life of the party/get-together, unknowingly setting myself up to be talked about &/or frowned upon. Now, most times there's an extended-family related holiday, I'll go, find a corner, & nest, like a Wren, until it's time to go back home.

This past Thanksgiving Thursday was no different. My wife, my son & I went to my in-laws for dinner. Instead of nesting in a corner, though, I decided I'd take my boys out to play some basketball, & in the process, wrangled a few extra kids into our outing. I played ball with my sons for about 15 minutes, until I rolled my left ankle, like I do every single time I play basketball. At which point, I decided that sports & Timberlands are horrid bedfellows, & that I'd had enough of shooting over the heads of a couple of 3 foot tall little dudes. So, we meandered over to the playground area.

Once there, the gaggle of children that followed us were all playing in the sand, back flipping off of swings, covering slides with dirt, & a couple of the less coherent ones tried to make & eat dirt sandwiches. Of course I intervened, although that went against my inner-douche nozzle telling me to video it & upload their humorous antics to YouTube. No dice, though. Maybe next year.

My niece, who's quite the little ray of sunlight, stood atop the slide & proclaimed, "Today is the Lord's day!". All the kids laughed & went back to whatever they were doing. As we should all know, rays of sunshine generally refuse to be ignored, so she made the declaration again.

"Today is the Lord's day!"

Now, my youngest son decided to engage, & he responded, "No, everyday is the Lord's day." My niece then felt the burning 7 year old desire to school an ignorant 6 year old on what the Lord & Thanksgiving have to do with one another. By now, all of the children were pulled into this meeting of the minds, I guess because even swinging gets a bit mundane after an hour. My niece, bless her little heart & adorable intentions, wasn't prepared for what my son was about to lay out in front of her.

Children are like sponges. They soak up the good, as well as the bad. The bad, however, becomes more apparent usually, because we live in a society that readily emphasizes negative behavior, & rarely rewards the positive. The positive behavior is generally exhibited in such a fleeting manner that we don't get the opportunity to stop & deliver the necessary kudos, pats on the back, etc. Lucky for me, I wasn't doing shit else but watching kids be kids.

My youngest son, decided it was time for his cousin to be educated. He's a nozzle like that sometimes, but in a good way. He explained that Thanksgiving is wrong, & that we didn't eat with the indians & have a good time. He told her, & all the kids listening, that the White man came here & killed the Native Americans, took their land, stole their belongings, gave them disease & destroyed their people. I was flabbergasted. All those talks we've had while walking down the street, who would've thought that he was truly listening, let alone comprehending in a way the would yield results in an otherwise adult conversation. Obviously, he was, & very intently I might add.

Of course, once he'd said all that, he felt that it was only right to dispell the myths of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, ghosts, monsters, & ended his dissertation with a healthy dose of "there's no Hell, either". At this point, I felt he'd ruined enough pre-adolescent fantasies for one day & stopped him. The day continued on, & my kids & I eventually left without even eating, per my sons deciding they'd had enough "Thanksgiving" for the day. We left my wife there, came home & ate pizza.

I had to explain to my son the dangers of the truth, & when exposing actuality to lesser versed people, that aren't ready to learn, one must be prepared for incredible backlash. I know, I'm supposed to be teaching him not cry, & don't be a tattle tale & what not, but really, how far have those types of crippling theories really gotten "us"? I have verifiable proof that my son knows the difference between fallacy & actuality, & the gumption to let the truth fly if need be. That is integrity for your ass. Now, to maintain that standard I've already set, while successfully guiding him through the maze that is human life. Sounds fun, right?


Technique said...

Man I don't have any kids yet so I don't know the feeling, but I would guess that when your boy dropped that knowledge it kinda choked you up. It's crazy, kids (especially young kids) will take whatever you tell them as a fact and relay that to their young peeps as a fact. Thats why parents need to step their game up, feel me??

Tony Grands said...


You know I was proud. It just shows me the influence I have, which I already knew, & how much he looks up to me. Like you said, they take it for truth. "We" gotta stop inadvertently teaching them the bullshit, because they take that for truth as well. & don't get me started on TV/Radio & now the 'Net.

Chilly Willy said...

Whatido, Tony!

I don't know if Lil'Grand knows the difference between fallacy and actuality (I know you're proud but he's still 6), but one thing for sure, you set him up to be able to understand that such a difference is good to know. I mean, his dissertation may just be a remix of what he heard instead of him gettin his KRS on on little miss sunshine, but the most important thing is that you put him in an environment where that distinction is important. For that, fam, kudos ! Now, I guess, the rest is for him to learn timing. Truth is good to know and good to tell, but in the right time. That don't make us cheaters, that makes us smart (though it's still hiphop to nozzle, due to the fuckit substance one can find in the hennessy, I see you Ye!).

Nice drop!

Tony Grands said...


"his dissertation may just be a remix of what he heard"

^^But isn't that what education is? Intake, translate, regurgitate...

Far as knowing the difference between fallacy & actuality, on a 1st grade level, & compared to an 8yr old boy & girl (his brother & sister), he definitely knows the difference. I'm not saying on an adult level, but you smell my cologne. Believe me, I've seen it with my own eyes, as he explained to his sister why the lady on TV isn't really flying, & offered some sound, sage options as to how she able to do so.

I guess the point I was kinda trying to make is that with the right guidance, our children can & will be on a better path than those before them. He's teaching about the "true" occurances of Thanksgiving to his peers, operative word being "teaching". Even if just by using the grade curve, thats leaps & bounds ahead of his competition.

Federal Ranga said...

God damn, Grand$!

"Tell em why you mad, son" just got taken to a whole other level. Kid sounds like he could be the next Huey Freeman! C/S Chilly, that reeeeeally may not have been the best time, but hey... coincidence is just that. No matter how people may look at it, he only did what he felt was right, tell the real.

Realists 1, Optimists 0.


Kiana said...

Why you aint videotape all of that? We rarely give kids enough credit for listening. They may not act on what we try to teach them like your son did, but they listen. Nice drop!

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