If I Only Had a Brain

Here is a story from early 2004. Elder would have been seven and Younger four…

A few weeks ago, sometime before our frantic retreat from the Lake to the grand metropolis of Ulman, I pulled my car out of the parking lot of our apartment building and onto the highway, both boys buckled securely in the back seat. And Elder, in customary fashion, immediately launched into a discussion.

“We’re going east,” he announced.

“Now, Elder, Highway 42 runs east and west and this road runs into Highway 42, so I would have to guess that we are actually going north or south,” I told him, slowing to take a sharp curve.

“And, now,” he continued, completely ignoring me. “We are going north. And now,” he announced after another sharp curve. “We are going east again.”

“Elder,” I said. “I really think this road runs north and south.”

“We’re going east,” he insisted.

“How do you know that?” I demanded. “Just what makes you think that you know that?”

“Well, Mom,” he said. “I do have a brain. I can remember.”

And, even as my jaw tightened, Younger launched in great panic, “I can’t remember. Does that mean I don’t have a brain?”

So, I assured Younger that he did, in fact, have a brain. I, on the other hand, no longer do.

An apparent risk of parenthood.

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