Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Mother of All Invention

Whoever said that necessity is the mother of all invention was wrong -- or at least not completely right, unless it includes the necessity for a thrill. I explained to the kids this morning that, unfortunately, it iced last night, so they wouldn't be able to play in the snow today; it would just be all iced over. Leave it to Brennan to prove me wrong.

After lunch, I told the kids that I needed to go outside and shovel the walk. The ensuing conversation went something like this:

Brennan: Hey, Dad! I know something you could use in the place of a sled.

Me: What?

Brennan: An unused storage tub!

Me: Well, that's a grand idea, except that we have nowhere to sled!

Brennan (undeterred): Yeah, we do!

Me: Where?

Brennan: The hill across from our house!

Me: (I 've obviously forgotten how to think like a little boy that craves adventure) That would be a great idea, except for the bolted-down bench and the huge brick flower box that guards the bottom of the hill!

Brennan: I could sled down the hill without hitting it! I can steer the tub!

Me (laughing): Right! No, I don't want you to. It's too dangerous.

End of scene...Fast forward to me shoveling the snow outside...Out comes Brennan carrying an old Rubbermaid tub. I don't know why, but I just didn't tell him again that I didn't want him doing it. Instead, I resigned myself to watch him very closely. Back to the mother of invention, he positioned his tub so that he would slide diagonally down the hill, missing the bench and brick wall altogether. He turned over quite a few times to be sure, but, nevertheless, he had worked it out. I found myself just shaking my head at him, thinking that I couldn't believe he had figured out a way to do it. I went inside and grabbed my camera to capture his moment on film. After all, if this turned out successfully, Cristi would want it on film!

Next thing I know, Addison's decided that she wants to try! They must have stayed out there for over half an hour trying different configurations, all the while being careful to avoid the things that would quickly turn it into a bad day.

I just couldn't believe it. I'm still shaking my head. Of course, what I'm really wondering is whether I was a bad parent that got lucky today, or whether I've forgotten what it's like to be a kid...Given my typical positive outlook on life, I'll choose the latter. Now if I could just recapture that spirit somehow...


  1. Thanks for the pictures -- you know me too well! I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face.

    Miss you guys!

  2. that's great! I'll cast my vote in a "good parent who got a reminder of what it's like to be a kid" category. Maybe I need to be a little more like that with Nelson (who is always trying to find a new way to destroy himself, I mean, do things!) :)

  3. Good to hear that Brennan hasn't changed too much in the past 6 months! And keep up the good work, Tim .... Experience is perhaps life's best teacher!!!! :-)