Today is my 21 anniversary and I believe it spawned this particular car conversation between myself and my 8 year old son.
“Dad, when I am like 18, or 19 how do I ask a girl out?”
“Row, thats a great question. Why do you think you’ll want to ask out a girl.”
“Well, I do want to get married someday. Isn’t that how you get started.”
As a parent, one of the two great superpowers I have accumulated (to my surprise) is the ability not to puke when dealing with my kid’s projectile hurling and the uncanny skill of laughter suppression when one of my kids are asking hilarious yet serious questions.
I replied, “Yes, yes it is.”
NOTE: Rowan particularly enjoyed my referencing Phenias and Ferb.
Getting us back on track, I asked him what he thought about dating.
“Well, I guess if I want to like a girl we have to go do stuff together. What I want to know is how I ask her to go do something.”
“Wow Row, I’m impressed, That is some very forward thinking. Nice job.”
“Well Row, it depends on how well you know the girl. If you’ve just met her then you might want to keep it casual like meeting at a Starbucks where you can talk and get to know her.
On the other hand, if you’ve know her for some time, like maybe she’s from church you could ask her to do something a little more in depth, like going hike, or dinner, or maybe a movie.”
“Okay, but why would I want to go to a movie? You can’t talk or see anyone in a movie.”
“Good call buddy.” I replied, impressed.
Meanwhile. …about 10 minutes later
“Dad? Something really scares me.”
This was a non-sequitor for me. I peered at the little guy in my rearview mirror, “What is it Row?”
“Dad, What if she says she doesn’t want to go with me?”
OMG! This little dude is such a thinker. I was so caught off guard.
After collecting myself and choking down several attempts to crack up, I finally responded, “Well, this is the biggest fear every man faces. So you are not alone. I guess if she’s worth the risk of rejection you just have to go for it. That’s what I had to do to meet your mom.”
“You had to meet mom?”
“Of course, and I had the same fear of her saying no to me.”
“Did she?” he laughed at himself “I guess she didn’t, huh?”
“Nope. She thought I was a keeper, I guess.”
At this point my backseat philosopher went silent. We stopped for a milkshake and gassed up the car. We pulled into the HomeDepot parking after finding a good shady spot far from the front doors.
Rowan grabs my hand and we head for the garden section.
“Dad, would it help if I took a shower and dressed cool?”
“Yes, yes it would.”