|The secret to being a good dad|
I will be sleeping in my bed under a roof — once removed from falling sky trash.
To make sure that they don’t get hit by cascading asteroid garbage, the children will be sleeping in a tent — at my suggestion. The compromise is that they will have the flaps open so that should any space junk land nearby, they will be able to make quick claim.
They will be doing this all week long, and I can’t say that I have done a darn thing to discourage it. After all, some of the most precious memories I have of my childhood was sleeping on the trampoline with my siblings in a glob of sleeping bags watching for aliens to land in our corn, leaving giant symbols to guide their space buddies to the state capital, Boise.
Aliens love Boise. I think it's all the trees.
Some of the neighbor kids are in on the grand adventure too it seems — except for Mrs. Mayberry’s kids. She came over to make fun of me because I had to stay up all night out on the lawn with the kids.
I don’t know where she got the idea that I was supervising the children personally, and I let her know I would be mattress camping in my bedroom with my air conditioner on for white noise to drown out the sound of giggling kids.
She was as mortified as the time I told her that I sometimes mixed uncomplimentary colors of Kool-Aid. Slowly, she herded her children to her perfectly manicured lawn, her eyes as large as flying space saucers. She backed away gracefully, never losing her smile, and never breaking eye contact.
I thought I heard her children whine, “But we want to sleep on the weird guys lawn!” but she just kept backing up like a pageant girl video on rewind.
The message was loud and clear — that a "good dad" would sleep out on the lawn and manage his children.
I am a good dad. I just feel that if they are old enough to get squished by Sputnik refuse, they are old enough to ward off feral cats and curfew-defying teens in the middle of the night without my help.
If I was really concerned about their welfare, I suppose I would have us all spend the week in the root cellar/atomic bomb bunker in the backyard that was left to us by whoever owned our house in the seventies. When we inherited it, the place was stocked with two pool chairs, a month’s worth of National Geographics, and what my wife thought was spilled root beer extract that ended up being old potatoes.
With a solid concrete roof over our heads, I could demonstrate what a good dad I was by gathering together and supervising for days of asking the kids who they were texting, and correcting their grammar, and turning their music down until the whole space-garbage thing passed us by.
"Sorry, bishop, but I can’t teach primary because I am in the cellar with the liquid potatoes watching the kids text."
No, I will sleep the sleep of a mediocre dad next to my wife who has decided to wear a motorcycle helmet and knee pads to bed just in case. I am not dissuaded by what Miss Flying Saucer Eyes next door thinks of my skills as a parent.
If my kids want to sleep on the lawn, on the roof or in the underground bomb shelter on pool chairs, I will be as pleased as pinkish-green punch to let them.
I will be in my room with the A.C. on, reading a few National Geographics.