Conversations I have in my office that you don’t


“Dad, we need some duct tape.”


“We’re making a spear.”

“Okaaaaaaaay,” I say warily. I fork over a roll of bright red duct tape while also eying the reed in Benjamin’s hand.

He walks out of the office, and I overhear him discussing next steps with his friend.

“We need some scissors.”

“I’ve got scissors,” I offer.

“Geez, Dad, you have everything.”


I hand over the scissors with this piece of advice: “Better take that project outside.”

As the screen door shuts I voice the next item on my mental checklist: “And don’t run with the scissors.”

Pause. That was a layup. Next item: “And don’t throw the spear at each other.”

“We won’t!” Benjamin and his friend answer in unison.

Pause. Next item: “Or the dog!”

At this point, I’ve crossed a line. Benjamin is indignant.

“Of course we won’t do that!”

Silly me.

Moments later, Benjamin returns. “Where’s the measuring tape?”

The good news? They are not on the Wii or other electronic devices. They are being creative, demonstrating their position atop the food chain by utilizing basic tools, opposable thumbs and problem solving.

They are also directly outside my office window, and there’s at least a half dozen unvoiced warnings on the tip of my tongue. I am keeping them to myself… for now. I am enjoying this reality program too much to spoil it with my influence.

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