Nick and I decided that for dinner we would have take-out Thai from our favorite Thai restaurant, Madam Mam's. I called in an order of lemon grass soup with fried tofu, grabbed my flip-flops from the closet, and we were on our way.
Nick needed to pick up a few groceries from the market nearby, so he dropped me off at the restaurant. Paying for our meal and receiving our spicy soup took a lot less time than I thought. I decided to make myself comfortable on the shaded benches just out front of Madam Mam's while I waited. A father and his two sons were seated on the other side of the bench. I settled back into the seat, assumed a look of moderate disinterest, and proceeded to steal glances and tidbits of this little families' convo. (Hey, I don't have one of those fancy iphones like all of you to keep me occupied. Don't judge!)
Little kid drawl is entertaining enough on its own, regardless of the ridiculous phrases that are constantly coming out of their mouths. I tried to hide a smile as the younger son, who appeared to be about two, rambled on about how he should own a commuter since his older brother had one. "But daaaad, Why can't I have a comp-com-computa? Jason hadth one?! I waaaant one tooooo!"
While younger brother was yanking on his fathers cut-off shorts, the older son, Jason, pointed to one of those new electric car models that had just driven into our view. "Can we have an electric car dad?"
"Hmmm." The father's face looked quizzical. "We could have an electric car if we lived down town, but where we live it just isn't practical"
"Why?" chirped Jason.
"Yes, why?" I thought to myself, just as eager as the six year old to have his father impress some knowledge onto us.
The father, who had looked pretty miserable up to this point, sitting outside in the heat while his wife was paying for their dinner inside, suddenly perked up a bit. He looked down into his curious son's face and saw a tiny spark of hope, a learning opportunity, a moment he could capitalize and use to turn his boys into striking young men.
"Well" the father started with a grin, "I DO think an electric car would be a fantastic idea! Electric cars are cheap to make. They are smaller so they are easier to park in those tiny parking spaces downtown, and they don't use up a lot of gas so they are good for the environment as well." The father went on to list a whole slew of positive reasons to own an electric car, as well as the negative points to make his lesson objective, of course. He gracefully snuck in just enough economics and politics for a six-year old to understand. After his explanation I was determined to inform Nick upon his arrival that we needed to head to an electric car dealership before returning home.
I thought to myself, "What a great father! He's sensitive, not at all condescending, and an educator all in one." What a wonderful childhood these children must have, how full of knowledge and love. I nodded my head in approval and sneaked a glance to witness the childrens' reaction.
The younger one was busy squishing a tiny beetle with his left sandal. The older paused for a moment, his mouth gaping open with just the slightest bit of slobber looming dangerously close to the edge of his lower lip, and said, "Dad, can we get a clown car?"