Kids Are Cool
Tonight, while I was sitting here, cursing up a storm while I tried to get the new site closer to operation, my step kids decided that they wanted to watch The Mummy on DVD.
So I told them that they could, but Ryan had to shower before he could start it, and Nolan would have to wait for him.
So Ryan runs off to his room, (kids have two speeds at 12: the excited run and the sullen stalk), and shouts back to Nolan, “Make some popcorn!”
Nolan looks at me, and says, “I’m really burnt out on popcorn, Wil.”
“So just make some for Ryan,” I replied, “that would be a really cool thing to do.”
So he goes into the kitchen, (he hasn’t hit the 2 speed phase yet) and gets out the popcorn (I can’t endorse Newman’s Own enough- it rules, and the profits go to charity, so we all win).
I sit back at the computer, trying to make the new site look less lame (it’s not coming along as well as I’d like, dammit), and Nolan calls to me from the kitchen.
“Wil! There’s a lot of smoke coming out of the microwave!”
I get up, and as I get closer to the kitchen, I recognize that smell that is so familiar to college dorms…no, not weed, jackass. The smell of burnt microwave popcorn.
Nolan is standing there, looking so perplexed, like he can’t figure out what is wrong with the microwave. So I stop it, and asked him how long it’s been in there, and he tells me 4 minutes, because that’s what it says on the bag. Now, whenever I make it, it’s 2 minutes 25 seconds. I’ve gotten it figured out. But I somehow didn’t pass that knowledge on to the next generation, and now, at 2:50 am, my house STILL smells like burning popcorn!
Well, Ryan comes out of his room, and Nolan looks crestfallen.
“Ryan, I ruined the popcorn, and it was the last one.” He says, looking like a puppy who’s just been caught chewing up your Boba Fett that was still in the blister pack.
Ryan looks at me, and back to his upset little brother, and he totally says, “That’s okay, Nolan, I’ll eat it anyway.”
So we open the bag, and take out a black ball of burning popcorn, toss it into the sink, and Ryan pours the rest of the popcorn into our popcorn bowl. (You see, when you’re married, all of a sudden you get all this stuff that only has one use. Like The Popcorn Bowl, or The Water Glasses. I don’t know about you, but when I was a bachelor, I only had 2 bowls and about 5 glasses, and they pulled serious double and triple duty.)
So Ryan ends up sitting on the couch, eating the totally burnt popcorn, and all was right with the world.
See what I mean about kids being cool? Nolan made the effort to do something for his brother, and Ryan made the effort to appreciate it, even at his own peril.
I wish adults were more like that.