Monday, September 6, 2010

Alternate Universe

My husband and I like to joke about our kids because Jacob looks just like his dad and acts just like me. Ben, on the other hand, looks just like me, but is in every other way like his father. That is, happiest when he is eating or doing some kind of physical work or play.

So it's not surprising that Ben's most interesting revelations come when he is out, say, hiking in the woods, which is where we were today: Mom, Dad, Ben and Bailey dog.

"OK, Ben," David said. "You're the leader. What does that trail marker say?"

"It's red, Dad, but I'm not the leader. You're the leader."

"Why am I the leader? You're the cub scout."

"Whoever is first in line is the leader," declares the scout.

By now, the dog is way out in front of all of us, having a field day with all the unfamiliar scents in the woods. "Uh oh," I say, "Bailey is first. That means we're in trouble because he's color blind. I hope we don't end up on the wrong trail."

(Silent pause)

"Mom," Ben says speculatively, "what if dogs see the world the right way, and we're the ones seeing it wrong?"

My eyebrows go up. "Oh, you mean like seeing the world in color is what makes it so complicated, and seeing it in black and white the way dogs do is really the better way?"

"Yeah," says Ben.

"That's a very interesting theory, Ben! Then maybe we SHOULD be following Bailey." David and I look at each other, thrilled at his fascinating thought process.

"Yeah," Ben clarifies, "unless he chases a squirrel!"

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