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Father and Son Chats

I took Calfgrit8 out last evening, just the two of us, to go get Calfgrit4 a birthday present. (CG4 will turn CG5 on October 15.) I wanted to use this time not just for gift-getting, but also for some one-on-one time with CG8. We haven’t had much alone time together in a while, and I felt like we both needed it. (I need and want some alone time with CG4, too, and that will come soon, I hope.)

As we drove out, I asked him where we needed to go to get what he wanted to give CG4: Target, Toys R Us, somewhere else? He said Target. I then asked him if he was hungry and wanted to eat before or after shopping. He said after. So we went to Target.

At the store, he knew exactly what he wanted to get his little brother – they’ve apparently discussed this: a particular Pokemon deck. We went straight to Pokemon cards, and Calfgrit8 immediately grabbed the specific boxed deck. There was no looking around, no examining the selection, just straight to and grab it.

When we left the store, I asked him where he wanted to get dinner. In that shopping center there are several restaurants I like and I know he at least doesn’t dislike: Chili’s, Red Robin, IHOP, Fridays, and several smaller places. He chose Panera; I wouldn’t have guessed that. We went to the bagel and sandwich shop.

Calfgrit8 is a great kid. He’s normally polite and well behaved. Sometimes, though, when with his little brother, he gets a little passive/aggressive, and he loses his manners. Also when the brothers are together, he gets a little less mature – he tends to regress back toward CG4’s age. I think this might be because his little brother can’t really advance up to his age, so to have some common ground, CG8 has to “stoop down” in age a bit. And there’s also the sibling rivalry aspect, which as my brother and I can attest (at around 40 years of age), will make anyone drop a maturity level or twenty.

But when CG8 and I are alone together, his intelligence and maturity comes through. We sat in a booth talking and eating our bagel and sandwich. He seems to love asking me questions about random stuff. Apparently he asks these random questions of other people (his mother, his teacher, his grandparents, etc.) and when they can’t answer them, he brings them to me in batches.

“What does the a.m. and p.m. stand for in telling time?” he asked.

He knows they mean before noon and after noon, but he didn’t know what the initials stood for. I explained ante meridiem and post meridiem.

“Cool,” he said, “I’ll tell my teacher. She didn’t know what they meant.”

“What does ‘all rights reserved’ on a movie mean?” he asked.

I tried to give a short-form explanation of copyrights and reserving them, but this question and answer led us down an unexpectedly long discussion about creating stuff, getting paid for selling the stuff, and the wrongs of copying and selling other people’s stuff. Although copyright is a subject somewhat intertwined with my career (and this site), I didn’t intend to get into the depths of it with an 8-year-old, but he kept asking for more explanation and examples.

I really didn’t think we’d be spending our father-and-son time talking about copyrights, but it was still good just to have the together time.

Some fathers and sons sit around talking about football and cars. I and my son sit around talking time zones and copyright law. I love him so.


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