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I Couldn’t Help but Laugh

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I sit her nearly seven months pregnant with a belly full of ever-moving child, and I think back to when my oldest son was about three years old or so. We were visiting with my mom and dad one weekend and Dallas (my soon to be six-year-old son) was watching a movie in the computer room when my Uncle Trent came over. My mother was on the computer playing Spider Solitaire … I don’t even remember what she and my uncle were talking about … but my uncle then took it upon himself to try and include Dallas in the conversation. Dallas was absolutely oblivious (Sesame Street or some other awful public television program was on at the time). I don’t remember how everything progressed after Trent tried to talk to Dallas … but the one thing that sticks out in my mind is how my uncle was standing in front of the television, blocking Dallas’ view. And then it happened. “Uncle Trent, move your fat ass, I’m watching TV.” I couldn’t help but burst into laughter … I had never heard such a thing from such a little person before … and it blew my mind. I just didn’t know what to say or how to discipline him. So I left the room with my mouth covered … and my mother fussing at me through her own laughter.

Another fond Dallas memory: I took him to see Spider-Man 2 when he wasn’t quite three years old …

There we were standing in line waiting to get into the theater to find seats for ourselves, and all of a sudden my son sees a woman standing in front of us with a little girl (possibly her daughter or grand-daughter) … and she has a mane of fiery red hair. My son leans over, places a hand on each of this little girls cheeks and plants a smooch on her in front of God and the rest of the world. I said “Dallas, nice little boys don’t do that.” Then he looked me dead in my face and said, “My name’s not Dallas, I’m Peter Parker/Spiderman. And I’m kissin’ my girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson.” I don’t think I’ve ever been more embarrassed in my life. I can only imagine how he and I will interact in public when he’s older …


Harlem, Georgia

A.k.a. Hopple Hopple


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