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Thoughts from the Lower 40: Like father, like son
In March 21 Issue
Russell County News
By Wade Daffron, Columnist

It was inevitable, really.

I knew there would come a time when my children and I would have to have “The Talk.”

(Oh good, grief, you say, there he goes talking about his kids again… And for real, I will try to get on another subject next week. How ‘bout…aardvarks? No? OK, I’ve got a few days to work on it.)

My 15-year -old, Evan, and I were driving down the road the other day, flipping CDs in and out of the car stereo-comparing guitar styles of various players, when he said something that got my attention.

I had been waiting for this “opportunity.”

Waiting for the door to slightly crack so I could kick it open and charge in.

It’s a right of passage, a tradition.

As my father did with me, and perhaps his father did with him, I would broach “that tender subject” with my song..

“Yeah, well, um,” Evan said in his usual, specific and straight-to-the-point matter, “so, uh, like, you wrote something about me last week…and uh, you know, like 50 people have called me an ‘emo ninja.’ “

“Oh, yeah,” I said, “well, um, yeah, uh, I hope that was alright to write about you,” I said.

“Yeah,!” he said, “like, you know, I mean, yeah, it’s cool.”

Then silence…

Evan was brave and went first.

“So…” he said, “Uh, like, what’s um, you know, it’s like to write?”

“You thinking about writing?” I queried.

“I dunno,” he said, “I mean, you know, I guess it would be kinda’ cool.”

Tears welled in my eyes as I thought about one of my children following in my footsteps, and further tears developed as I thought about how in the world I could afford to send my son to college.

“I think, maybe, you know, uh, I’d like to try it,” he said.

“Oh really?” I protested.

“Yeah, why not?” he said. “I mean, you know, you do it.”

I was trying to determine if I had just been insulted or not.

“Well,” I said, “why don’t you just take over for me this week.”

Later than night, Evan tucked a laptop computer under his arm and disappeared into the sanctuary of his bedroom.

About five minutes later, I peaked in and saw him watching TV.

“Not too easy, huh?” I chided him. “Did you give up already?”

“No, not at all,” he said. “I’m done.”

I grabbed the laptop, and scanned the words typed on the screen.

“Hmmm…” I said. “Well, that’s not very long.”

“You said to write until I was done,” Evan said. “I’m done.”

Perplexed, I slunked down the hallway, and went to pout to my wife.

“How long does it take me to write?” I asked her.

“OH!,” she said, “HOURS, sometimes,” Renee’ said.

“Hours?” I asked.

“Hours,” she said.

I tortured myself by not allowing myself to read what Evan wrote,

I’d decided we’d all read it together.

So, here (with just the slightest bit of editing) is his ‘debut”…

“Hmmm…”That is the only statement I could think of to open this passage with.

My English teachers would be proud.

Expectations make a man out of you.But I digress.It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to write a column about whatever you desire.

I would just like to say, I hope you enjoy it as much as the normal, weekly passage of my father.Yet again, what to write about?

One of the hottest subjects is of course is the state of the, gasp, American economy.

If I do say so, I think if they wanted to fix it, they would do it already, but I’m sure it’s not as simple as all of that.

But money is the root of all evil. It’s a terrible thing…

I think we should be normal and just convert to Euros or whatever.

Ha, Euros for nothing’ and your chicks for free!

Gosh! Another thing continuously interrupting the completion of this column is my dag-gum cell phone!

As convenient as they are, this thing vibrates like every 30 seconds.

It’s really not cool when you are trying to do something. It doesn’t help that mine has, what I will call spasms, when I receive a new message, “Txtin killz ur gramr.” What about those crazy teenagers these days, eh?

Oh, by the way, I’m not an “emo ninja”.

In fact, I totally have no idea where that came from, but that’s how I roll.

And something must be going in the living room because everyone just shouted “HA-ZAH!!!” Sorry, it was just distracting.

But, teens really have lost what seems like any sense of morals or values.

It’s quite sad, and I, for one, ponder on what has caused a backward ticking of the evolutional clock.

We have technology, we aren’t monkeys anymore.Speaking of, has anyone seen the things Apple is doing with Ipods?

I’m mean it’s getting crazy, like having the capacity to hold more hours of music that all the Beatles albums combined. It’s crazy.DUDE! I saw one of those X-treme Tickle Me Elmo’s.

This thing like fell over, rolled around, then stood it’s self back up.

I DIDN’T KNOW TOYS DID THAT!Sorry for my inconsistent babble.

But I hope you enjoyed it.

I’m gonna go play guitar or something,



OK, that was interesting.

I resisted the incredible urge to “change this-move that-switch this around,” etc.

Some points were intriguing, some puzzling. (For example, does “the normal, weekly passage of my father” mean that I die every week?)

It’s fascinating to learn what’s on teenagers’ minds.

I KNEW there would be some reference to technology because teens are bombarded with it.

I’ve seen Evan (and tons of other teens) eat, sleep, work, and play with their i-pods (or other, socially-acceptable media device).

It’s also interesting to know the economy is of concern to teens.

After all, it’s THEIR future which will be affected.

I detect an almost “stream of consciousness” writing style, and I LOVE the “backward ticking of the evolutional clock” phrase. I gotta “borrow” that.

Evan seems sorta “deep,” almost cynical at times, but there again, within a few keystrokes, he’s talking about Elmo.

Reminds me of…me.

Wow, you’ve made proud, my son.

All my kids make me proud.

Actually, ALL kids make me proud.

I love to see youthful enthusiasm, I like to see that optimism and hope that only youth have-before they become jaded with the harsh realism of how life “really is.”

Personally, I think there’s nothing more important and essential than devoting time to youth.

And by that I mean talking with them, not at them.

I mean LISTENING to what they have to say, LEARNING how they feel, and above all LOVING them.

When you were younger, did you ever wish someone would just give you a few minutes of their time, or at least seem like they were interested in what you had to say?

Why not give a kid (or young adult) a chance?

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