Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Joy Virus

Diana is all about the details. Who needs to eat, or poop when. Who has cooking camp (don’t get me started), who hasn’t had a nap in the last 48 hours. Her mind is a trap of tiny details that keep everyone in our house alive.

I, on the other hand, prefer to parent by gigantic, sweeping declarations. I’ll swoop into a room and announce (to no one in particular), “From now on, everyone wears red!” Or, “We’re throwing all our non-Star Wars toys into Lake Michigan!” Typically, Diana will look up from her glass of wine and give me that smile that says, “I acknowledge what you are saying, but will do nothing.”

Well, I’ve been reading the horrible book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” It’s horrible not because of the writing (it’s great), but because the author has ruined all food for me. Literally. I’ll save you the effort of reading it with this simple summary: Everything you eat is made by the devil and will make you grow a tail.

Because of said book, I announced to the family that I was officially banning all non-organic foodstuffs. We were not going to eat anything not made by the teamwork of Mother Nature and a man in a straw hat. I declared this while thrusting my fist into Elijah’s jar of Jelly Bellys.

Diana suggested we go to the Evanston Farmer’s Market to shut me up. I loved the idea. It would get the boys out of the house on a Saturday, plus will allow me to feel superior to anyone who doesn’t want to spend $7 on a kernel of corn.

We arrived at the Farmer’s Market and Elijah immediately took off in search of someone who could make him a lightsaber out of a balloon. Diana, who is in better shape than me, ran off after him.

That left me with Luca in his stroller. We, well, strolled. I was in search of listeners to my organic ranting. “Oh, you eat food grown not within 50 feet of your house? Maybe I can interest you in some toxic waste as a salad dressing. Bah!”

But I started to notice that people were stopping in front of the stroller by the Volkswagen bus-load. Not just the old ladies. Getting an old lady to pay attention to an infant is like shooting organic fish in a barrel. But hippies, kids, lunatics, folk singers, political activists and regular people were all stopping to get a look at Luca.

And laughing. They were all laughing at him. I got a little ticked. What’s so damned funny about my son? His zipper can’t be down, he doesn’t own one.

So I stopped the stroller and bent down to see what the hilarity was all about. Simply put, Luca looked like the happiest child on planet Earth. His hair was standing straight on end from the wind. He had the largest grin I’ve ever seen in my life and was hopping up and down on his butt with glee. He was pounding his fist on his stroller tray like he was begging the world to stop telling the funniest joke ever.

The hippies weren’t laughing at Luca. They had simply caught Luca’s Joy Virus. Of which I hope there is no cure.

No comments: