Tuesday, May 13, 2008

No Incentive


Then
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Parenthood is a funny thing.

Early on there’s lots of Accounting of the Children. We know every last detail of their universe and can recite them to all interested (and uninterested) parties.

*my son weighs 8lbs 1oz.
*he ate 2 bottles of formula and a small jar of rice cereal
*he has 3 teeth
*he knows 7 words
*he shit green

This brief finite world is perfect for trading stats with the other haggard Parents. I mean what else can we talk about?
*she can walk 2 steps
*she knows 4 colors
*she can roll to her belly
*she shit green

Soon their lives get more complex and you lose track. They get more teeth, some of them fall out. Some new ones come in. I have no idea how many teeth my kids have now. It’s just too much information at this point and if I’m expected to know every last detail, I’ll never have time for mowing the lawn or jerking off. Actually, I have no idea how many teeth I own either, but I’m sure it’s a lot.

The next thing they do is write a play.

My 14 year old son wrote a play.

The middle school put it on.

Now while I was vaguely aware that he was writing a play, I didn’t read or ask him what it was about. I was afraid of intimidating his creative process, I'm just impressed he was writing something. I’ve seen him Perform in plays and sporting events, but nothing of his own pure design. This was exciting.

The other piece of information is that he didn’t tell us that his play was selected to be performed by the school. Some Mom congratulated us, that’s how we found out. Alarm Bells?

Sitting in the dimmed theater I review the playbook and see the cast-list of characters. There’s a Mom, Dad and Son. A wave of Paranoia crashed over me. What if all these years my beautiful son actually hated me, and his first teenage act of defiance was to skewer me and my wife in front of the town?

I read more while people were seated.

There’s Hostages.
There’s a Bank Teller.

By the time I saw the Mafia hoodlums listed, I knew that I was in the clear, this would be fun. It's not about us.

The mom is an overworked nurse who has taken a loan from the mafia, before leaving the Father. The Father is an unemployed drunk, who is still in love with the Mom and tries unsuccessfully to get her back. The mafia wants it's money back but she spent it. The Dad decides that he will rob a bank to pay off her debt. The son agonizes over the split and tries to keep the family together.

When the robbery goes bad, the Dad is forced to take the bank customers hostage. The son is able to sneak past the negotiating Police and enter the bank, almost getting shot by the Dad. Infuriated, the Father promises the Police that the next person that walks through the door will get shot.

The son tries to talk the Father out of the bank and the Mom sneaks past the Police when she learns her son is in the bank.

The Father turns without looking and fires 3 shots into the Mom.

The play ends.

The other two plays performed that night were sweet and had happy endings, where people learned lessons, or the Popular kids learned to be friends with the Geeks. I can’t tell you how happy I was that he didn’t fall into that. His dialogue was hilarious, and like any good tragedy had lots of laughs.

My favorite line had the son concerned about the Father while they were waiting at home.
“Dad, I’ve noticed that you’ve been drinking a lot.”
“I’ve been thirsty.”

So I learned something new about my son for the first time in awhile.

*he shits green
*he can write!

9 comments:

Chris said...

Way cool!

katrocket said...

Wow, I'm really impressed that he wrote a play, especially one with such a complex plot. But hey, Dad's a mighty good writer, so we shouldn't be that surprised. And all this in addition to his top athletic skills! You've got some damn talented kids.

Leonesse said...

WOW! That is incredible. Apples don't fall far from the trees.

U.S. MALE has no talent said...

Did the play involve an Artie Lange character with wings skipping and Dad in a Kilt?

Great job to little SB!

ArtieLange said...

Dad is a drunk who comes up with hare-brained plans to save the family. Hmmm, sure it isn't about you?

Winter said...

Holy crap that is talent. Nice job. (for him not you..)

steakbellie said...

ok so maybe their were some similarities, but the kid can only paint with the colors he was given!

ginger b said...

Wow, this kid is amazing!

What's also amazing is reading a post about kids that's entertaining.

I'm beyond impressed with both of ya.

Liz said...

That's awesome.