“No idea, but I’m sure you can take a martial arts course.”
“Oh yeah, ka-ra-tayyyy!! Whoosh, whoosh.”
He executes a few moves with a serious ninja look.
“Look how high I can kick. Yaaa! Whoosh! Yaaa!”
“Yeah, I think I’ve got talent.”
My boy has no problems singing his own praises. Self-confidence is good. At his age I was embarrassed about everything…my chubbiness, the gap in my front teeth, my blushing, my ‘girly’ running style, my inability to catch a ball, any ball, my lunch pail provolone sandwich that smelled like puke, etc. etc. ….you get the idea!
So, thinking you’re good is good.
“How cool dad, if I could like get a black belt…yaaah!…”
He karate chops, left, right, left again.
“…yaah! Wasa, Anti Hori Hoo Maka!”
“What was that Noah?”
” Wasa, Anti Hori Hoo Maka!? It’s Japanese.”
“Yeah, Kimito taught me at school.”
“I thought you and Kimito weren’t friends anymore.”
“Gotcha dad. I just like invented those words. They sounded really real huhn?”
Really Real, as opposed to Sorta Real or Not Real or Real to Me, Shit to You, or Is It Real if Nobody Knows...
“Dad, does it take like a year or two to get a black belt?”
“I’m sure it takes years of training, but that’s great if you’re enjoying it as you learn.”
“Naw, that sucks, it would be, like better, you know if I could get one real quick.”
The dark side of self-confidence. Little awareness that what takes time is generally more useful.
“Like a prize in a cereal box?”
“No, those are lame. Dad, do Ninjas exist for real?”
“I really don’t know. Next time you have computer time, do a search.”
“Can you do it for me?”
“Awww-unh! Dad, when I go on the computer it’s like to play not to do serious stuff like a, uhm, a research project, you know.”
“Yup. And I work on the computer.”
A bit of a lie.
“Dad, I see you do stuff that’s not work, all the time. Like when you watch Barack Obama and like politics and stuff like that.”
Got caught! As my father used to say, “Lies have short legs, they never get very far.”
“Sometimes I take a break from work and investigate what I’m interested in.”
“That’s okay, I understand.”
And he even pats my forearm patronizingly. I throw him a look.
He smiles without an ounce of self consciousness. Yet he has the longest two front teeth. How did he get so confident?
“Dad, can I google it now?”
“No. It’s 8 and we’ve got to head to your camp.”
“Dad, it’s not to play, it’s like, uhm…what’s the word…?”
“Bad dad, Baaaaddd dad. ” He wags a nasty, ironic finger at me. He’s joking. Still, I can feel the male tension rising in him. And me.
“Bad ass, kick your butt, ninja-dad, yeah.” I karate chop his head, missing purposely.
“Fail.” He runs off, laughing like the little dork he is.
“I’m way better at ninja stuff than you dad.”
I get up and take a step towards him. He runs off, screaming like a girl.
But he says it from several meters away.
Oh yeah! I still scare my kid.
Damn, what’s his camp pass doing on the ground? I bend to pick it up and get a kick in the ass.
“Hahahaha…..Ninja Noah strikes again.”
By the time I turn he’s already run off to hide. I can hear his laugh, a mix of fear, excitement, and all that stuff.