Mustard – I don’t like the taste of it, the smell of it, the look of it, the texture of it, the colour of it. It grosses me out to the max. As a matter of fact, my aversion to the condiment began inside the womb, for my mother’s cells loathe mustard as well.
My children, who are at the sweet young ages of five and seven, decide to play a prank on their old man.
They take a bottle of mustard and disguise it using their red crayons.
“Hey Dad, we got this new kind of ketchup to try. It’s really good. I think you’ll like it.”
“Um…okay. I’ll try it on my burger.” I cringe at the site of the yellow stream on my hamburger.
“Ah, kids, it kinda looks like mustard to me.”
“Dad, it’s actually ketchup. It’s made from yellow tomatoes. Try it. It’s really good.”
I take a small bite. My senses cry foul at the pungent yellow nastiness. I spit out the mustarded burger in disgust, and my kids laugh and laugh.
Days later, I come home from work.
“Hey Dad, we got you a present today.”
They hand me a mustard shirt. And they laugh and laugh.
We had just finished watching a family movie. All four of us are cuddled on the couch as the credits roll. My 5-year-old son nonchalantly says, “Hey guys, I know which one of us is going to die first,” as he points his finger in my direction.
I’m eating breakfast the next morning when my 6-year-old daughter runs into the kitchen. She says, “Hey dad, I just had a really silly experience.” I ask about her silly experience. She says, “I sneezed and farted at the same time.”
My 6-year-old daughter was eating mint chip ice cream when she bit something hard.
My daughter had lost her first tooth.
It was an important milestone, but she was sad.
I asked, “Earlier you said that you didn’t want to lose your wiggly tooth because you were worried about how it might look.”
She said, “It’s not that, dad. I just don’t like change.”
Interesting, coming from a six-year-old. It reminded me of something my colleague said recently to students transitioning from high school to college, and I had my daughter repeat it.
With change comes opportunity.
Losing a tooth that you’ve had for most of your life is hard. It may hurt a little. It may bleed a little. You look into a mirror and things have changed. You may be sad. You may be scared. The gap is wide. The hole is deep. The wound is tender. But you’ve made way for something bigger, something better, something stronger. And when you realize it, you smile a little differently.
“Let’s go see what’s over there, dad.”
“Okay, son. Do you think we’ll see any animals?”
“Maybe some bugs. But don’t squish ’em. We have to protect nature.”
“I’m gonna drive a motorcycle when I’m bigger.”
“Cool. Can I go for a ride?”
“Sure. But you have to wear a helmet.”
“Dad, some days I love you more, and some days I love mom more. I take turns.”
“Okay. Can you love us both?”
“Yeah…yeah, that’s good. Dad, do you want to have ice cream later?”
“We can get some for my sister too.”
“But let’s go for a long walk first.”
“I love you, dad. BFF.”
“I love you too, buddy.”