Me: Why don’t you ever do somersaults anymore, son?
You: I don’t want to die.
You can die from doing too many somersaults.
What makes you think that?
Billy told me.
Billy. And you believe him. This is the kid who told you he’s doing secret agent training after school, right?
And that his Dad’s an astronaut?
The kid that had the Prime Minister over for Christmas dinner? The reason you stopped looking your dog in the eyes for fear of making him go blind?
So what makes you think he’s right about somersaults?
Because his doctor told him that. and they don’t lie.
And you know this because…?
Billy told me so.
Listen, there’s a killer imagination and then there’s living in an alternate dimension. Billy has slipped through some sort of worm hole and will, no doubt, be rescued and returned to his own reality some day. The rescue party probably just got held up dealing with this year’s presidential candidates. In the mean time I’ll gently remind you that he’s full of crap.
Your conversations with Billy look like this:
Billy: Hey Rootstock, you know your shirt’s on backwards.
You: But the buttons are in front.
Yeah, but you’re supposed to wear this kind of shirt the other way. Better turn it around; you look like a dork.
Um, OK., can you help me do the buttons in back?
Sure, happy to help, dude.
Your conversations with me look like this:
Me: Please eat your veggies, they’re healthy and you need that.
Veggies aren’t healthy.
Um, yes, they are.
How do you know?
Because I’ve been around long enough and I know. Eat them please.
Well, they’re not. Cookies are healthy. Veggies can kill you.
Fine, if you don’t care about my health I’ll eat them, but don’t be surprised when I’m dead tomorrow.
Help me understand why what Billy says is the unassailable truth yet you reserve the right to accept or reject what I have to say as you see fit?
I predicted this, you know. Not the part where you believe everything people like Billy tell you, but the part where my opinion matters about as much to you as that pile of broccoli on your plate. I miss being able to tell you stuff and have you believe it, no questions asked. There was real power in being the indisputable source of all knowledge. I had total integrity, and the cool thing was that I didn’t have to earn it; it just came as part of the whole daddy package.
Now, some 9 year-old twerp with issues tells you girls can get pregnant if you sneeze near them and my explanation about how kissing causes pregnancy is suddenly a load of rubbish.
Well things are going to change. I’m going to earn back your respect! You’ll soon see me as the father I know I want you to think I am.
Just as soon as I convince Billy to tell you so.