Tuesday, June 9, 2009

When I'm Dad ... and The Infinite Light Cycle

Not that I'm in any hurry to grow up (wearing ties to work on a daily basis is enough, thanks), but I kinda can't wait for the day I have a son. Because I want him to ask me things like 'where do stars come from.' And then I can put my imagination to exhilarating use and tell him things like:

"The stars? Don't you know? Oh, c'mon, guy! What kind of sheltered runt are you? Well I guess it's time we filled you in then, innit? You know those little orange sparks that pop and crackle up out of the campfires at night? Well, when someone wishes something good for someone else, one of those sparks floats up to the sky, higher than usual, and it gets stuck up there and turns white because it's so cold up there. And then it hangs there, shining like a diamond, as a vivid reminder that someone, somewhere cares about you. Of course, this trick only works if these are goodwill wishes. When you make them, they can't be mean-spirited or about you at all. And then when you see a shooting star, that means someone somewhere just had a wish come true. It's even possible that that wish could have been made for you. But here's the best part. After you see a shooting star, that means a wish has returned to earth, and now you are the one who gets to re-use it. The next time you're sitting around a fire, you can make a wish of your own for someone you love or care about. So it's the shooting stars that are really important. Keep your eyes open for them so you can help make this world a better place. Pretty nifty, huh?"

And then when he gets older and calls me on it, I'll be like "Don't let them make you grow up! Didn't you learn in school about the water cycle? Well, that's real, right? The wish cycle is the same exact thing. Wishes go up, wishes go down, and we cycle it all around. What's so hard to believe about it? I'm your dad, and I'm telling you that wishing good for others is a very real thing."

None of this post has anything to do with entertainment, really. But I did recently finish reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, which comes with my highest recommendation. It's probably one of the most moving father/son stories I've ever encountered, in writing or film. Aside from Return of the Jedi, of course.

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