Have you ever noticed that when you’re at a restaurant with little kids, they eventually interact with each other? They might want to just say hi, maybe even trade toys and possibly even find a way to get into trouble with each other. When all of this happens, moms smile, say hi and often start a short conversation with each other. We dads look at each other, smile slightly and, as I’ve mentioned before, nod.
My son (he’s 5) was talking to an 8 year-old at a restaurant, asking him if he liked Star Wars. He did. How about Rocky & Buillwinkle? Yes. How School House Rock? Yup again. I immediately looked at the dad with surprise and excitement. It’s good to know I’m not the only one out there who imposes the things I grew up with on my child. The other dad went on to say “Woody Woodpecker, too.” That one hadn’t occurred to me, but his son nodded vigorously and said “We love Woody Woodpecker at our house.”
As much as I like the idea of exposing my son to these cultural touchstones that the older people in my family taught me, I enjoy being one-upped by someone even more die-hard than I am. It makes me look normal for one thing. It also fills me with respect for another dad, which probably isn’t a bad thing, either.
I need to dig up some Woody Woodpecker now and expand my son’s horizons, and pay homage to the dad at the next table. I did signify my approval, though – with a firm nod of respect.