About The Funk...

Observational Spittle from the mind of a man of color in his 40s, without the color added (most times). Come in, laugh, and you may learn something...

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Father, Son, Frenemies, Fun.

Me and the oldest are frenemies.

Not exactly an odd concept, to be sure, since I am sure that there are lots of fathers out there who butt heads with their sons, especially when that fleshy part between their legs starts to short circuit the brain in the teen (and forever more) years.

Now my young man (because as tall as he is, I call him that despite his 11 years, 10 months and a couple of days he is as of the date of this post) is beginning to notice the ladies, but it isn’t his focus his days.

He’s one of the most handsome gaming nerds in the world.

Now I know you are thinking that just because I am his dad, I can say things like that.

But unless you haven’t been reading my blogs, you should know that isn’t how I roll.

If he was a 4 tooth, one-eyed, limping Hobbit with breath that reeked of toe jams and bad cheese, I would have told you so.

But luckily, he doesn't qualify for that sort of description.

Anyway, back to the frenemies thing.

In all the years he’s been around, I’ve probably been yelling at the lad since he was, oh, about 3. 

We were on our way back from my in-laws…very lovely white folks from the Midwest who had accepted that her daughter being with me wasn't just a “phase”, despite the fact we've been together for 6 years at this point. 

I was buckling up the boy in his car seat, and for no reason whatsoever, he bit me.  Really expletive-ing hard.

Now, you ever get so mad that the wire that connects your good sense to your mouth gets fried?

Mine burnt the hell up.

Now, I can’t remember everything I said that day, but I remembered looking like someone from a bad UPN (look it up; Chuck D of Public Enemy once called it U Pay (a) Ni**** Network, and he was right) comedy, livid, and finishing off with “I am your father, and YOU WILL RESPECT ME! (Wife’s name), finishing buckling up this little son of a (female dog, not referring to my wife).”

I was spouting this off to a 3 year old who still hadn’t figured out where to put his feces regularly.

My in-laws, especially my brother-in-law, looked at me like I was James Evans from “Good Times.”  I would have preferred looking like Cliff Huxtable, but that is for another post.

From that point forward, it wouldn't be unusual for him and I to get into it once a week.

Now in the back of my mind, I know arguing with a child is foolish, as that, well, he’s a child.

When I was growing up, there was no arguing.  There was LAW.  And BEATINGS.  And limping to school the next day thinking “that probably wasn't a great idea.”

But things have changed in the USA since my day (it so hurts to say that) and kids know what 911 is now (even though my dad, b4 he got sick, once said to one of his other grandchildren “I may be going to jail, but you are going to the morgue”).

Today, he is the mouthy, possibly Asperger-having pre-teen that doesn’t pay attention if you, well, paid him to do so.

That’s the “enemy” part.

But then…

…there’s the part that helps out when his brother (see my previous post) tries to kill himself…or us, for that matter. The one who doesn’t hit him back, even though he nearly had his head taken off.  The one who made up a handshake before he goes to bed that him and I share.  Did I mention that he is one of the funniest people I know, making me laugh so hard I almost wrecked the car.  And the kid who got tired when I took him to go see the latest Marvel blockbuster and put his head on my shoulder in the movie theater.

That’s the “friend.”  Sadly, he’ll stop doing some of these things as he gains his independence, and that makes me sad.

It also makes me sad that the “enemy” part will probably get worse. 

We are two stubborn men, cut from the same cloth in a lot of ways.  I know I should be the mature one and try to control my temper, but well, I just can’t stand stupid.  Makes my butt itch.

He’s a kid.  He’s gonna do stupid things.  I, despite my flaws, am a pretty decent dad, and I do honestly try to let a lot of things go, even though I’ll always throw in my favorite phrase:

“Dude, you gotta learn how to think.”

It never sinks in, of course, as it hasn’t sunk in for 99.8% of kids on the planet. 

I guess that for me, to this day I cannot separate how brilliant this kid is from the fact that kids have the common sense of roaches walking into that famous motel they don’t check out of.

So “frenemies” we will continue to be…

…in the hopes that as I gray and he mans up, we will just be friends.

Even if we always agree to disagree.

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