The other day Charlie was waiting impatiently for Mike to get home from work. He kept looking at the clock and asking how many seconds until his Dad would be home.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention my son will only use seconds now to determine the duration of something: “Charlie, get your shoes on… we’re going to Granny’s for dinner.” Charlie says, “How many seconds until we leave?”
At first I thought this was cute, so I played along. And boy are those “we’re doing this now” events easy to calculate - “10 seconds,” “thirty seconds,” “120 seconds.”
But then came the day I walked Charlie to his class and said, “Okay buddy, see you this afternoon… have a great day!” He looked at me with anxiety and said, “How many seconds until I see you again?” I was thinking it’s a damn shame I doodled my way through every math class I ever took, ’cause that skill sure would come in handy at times like this!
So I said, “Well, when you’re talking about not seeing someone for a few hours, it’s really better to just count in hours instead of minutes… otherwise it might seem like forever… you know? Like three thousand, six hundred seconds doesn’t sound as appealing as ONE hour… at least not to me. What do you think?”
Charlie said, “How many seconds mom?”
I was still trying to do the math, and was miffed my stalling tactic was not working. And you know what else? The kid probably knew the answer, he was more than likely testing me… ’cause that’s how he rolls, dog.
I said, “Well, that’s a lot of math for Mom to do with only one cup of coffee… ummm….” I started looking around for anyone who might have been listening who could answer the question - or anyone with a calculator handy. Of course, there was no one to be found.
So I said, “I am sure it is tens of thousands of seconds…” Charlie’s face fell and he looked like he was going to lose it. I quickly reassured him, “It’s okay buddy, it’s really just a few hours.”
Charlie looked at me with THAT LOOK (you know, “How dumb are you?!?!”) and said, “Mom, just tell me how many seconds.” I said, “Somewhere around twenty thousand maybe.” I was still doing the math in my head… carry the 4… I yelled, “Okay, I got it! I think the answer is 25,200…?”
Charlie smiled and said, “Thanks! See you in twenty five thousand, two hundred seconds!”
I haven’t checked my math, could be I was wrong; but, I guess I was close enough for Charlie.
I’m going to need a calculator, aren’t I?
So back to the story…
Charlie had been waiting impatiently for his dad to walk in the door from work. He stood at the front door, looking out forlornly. Anytime his brother, sister, or I would pass by he would say, “How many seconds until Dad gets home?” We’d say, “Any second now.” That’s my new one. I kinda like it.
Every time a car’s lights would turn onto our road, Charlie would get excited; only to be disappointed and sigh heavily when the lights passed by our driveway. But Charlie stood at his post, never giving up hope his father would be the NEXT car. Sure enough, he was.
Charlie ran through the house to the kitchen and stood, hopping up and down, in front of the door leading out to the garage. Mike came through the door and was barely able to set his briefcase down when Charlie jumped on him. They laughed and Mike went down on his knees to hug Charlie. They held tight to each other and had a little chat about each of their days.
Then, just as Mike was about to stand up, Charlie started inhaling deeply. Mike chuckled and said, “Hey buddy, what are you doing?”
Charlie inhaled again and said, “Mmmmm… you smell so good!” Mike said, “I do?” Charlie said, “Yeah, so good… good like Disney! You smell like Disney!”
Mike looked over at me and we just busted out laughing. Charlie held on and continued to inhale the odoriferous goodness that is his father.
I’m still trying to figure out what Disney smells like exactly.