Sunday, July 30, 2006

Fatherly Explanations

Tobin gives us looks sometimes like he needs things explained. I admit I feel some level of responsibility to explain all I can. Since Allison and I are are both pretty good with sports (the stereotypical realm of the dad), I've been trying to figure out which topics I can weigh in on as "Expert Dad." I've gotten pretty good with stringed instruments, so I feel ready for any question he could ask me about those. And I've learned a couple of things around the house that I feel like I could explain with some degree of certainty. By degree of certainty, I think I mean the level of comfort I would have talking to a hardware-store employee. Example:
Comfort level high:
"Can I help you sir?"
"Yes, I need to replace the seats and springs on my kitchen faucet. Could you direct me to home plumbing?"
Comfort level low:
"Can I help you sir?"
"Yes, uh . . . I think my refrigerator isn't . . . well, there's a smell that I . . . and the electricity seems to--um--on and off a lot. Sometimes."
And what about the things in the world that are inexplicable? For an adult, that's a difficult concept. But how tough is it for a kid to realize that the people who decided to bring you into the world can't even explain it? I imagine Tobin asking me about a laundry list of things that I can't explain or even understand myself.
"If it's the Holy Lands, why do they hate each other so much?"
"Why are people mean to each other?"
"Why do some people live in the streets?"
"Why would you have pillows on a bed that are only decorative?"
"Why are half the sitcoms on TV about a chubby guy and his implausibly attractive wife?"
I don't have any problem saying "I don't know" to my students at school. I know I'll say that to Tobin a lot too, but there's a significant part of me that wants always to be able to explain everything to this face.

wide-eyed

1 comment:

heather said...

you know tobin, i myself havent been able to figure out that last question. when your dad comes up with a good answer, let me know. maybe my new friend mo rocca has some insight.