When we were little, one of our best buddies had a dad that would be considered “cool.” He swore. He took us on fishing trips. He didn’t trouble us with rules or discipline and had more than a working knowledge of Star Wars trivia. We idolized him. From what I’ve heard, over the years he’s descended into drug and alcohol addiction.
And yet, I still have this intense desire to be known as the cool dad to Elijah’s friends.
The other night, Eli’s pal Charlie came over and they were playing with Star Wars guns. As he ran to and fro, I tried to get my claws into him.
“Hey man! Hey! Do you like Star Wars? Do you want to know how many times I’ve seen Star Wars? How high can you count?”
He ignored he in that special way five year olds can ignore you: completely.
I found myself getting more and more desperate for Charlie’s favor. I quickly counted the dollars in my pocket. Finding none, I opted for a more boy approach.
“Charlie, come here. Lemmie see that gun.”
Charlie handed it over and I immediately shot (pretend) him.
“You just learned the first rule of Blasters. Never give up your Blaster.”
Charlie looked at me with awe. I got him. Diana looked at me like a woman who once swore there would never be toy guns in out house.
I handed Charlie back the gun. “Oh wait, Charlie. I forgot to show you something on this gun. Let me see it.”
Charlie handed me the gun and I shot him.
“What’s the first rule of Blasters?”
I began to take on mythical status in Charlie’s eyes. I could also tell I had impressed Eli as well. I may just have this cool dad thing down.
Eli said, “Hey Charlie. Let me have your Blaster.”
Charlie refused. Fool Charlie once, shame on Charlie. Eventually the spell was broken and I went back to just being another tall person Charlie could ignore.
I calculated how many years I’d have to wait before I could swear in front of them.