Just Like His Dad

This is the conversation I overheard on the phone:

“But why, Daddy”

“I don’t know, RJ.”

“But why don’t you know, Daddy?”

At that point I started laughing. So did my son. You may indeed wonder why we found this so amusing. It is because he and I had the same conversation some twenty-four years ago.

We lived way out in the country and I was driving my son to preschool. It was a fifteen mile drive, and he had the “whys” the whole way. Finally, I told him I just didn’t know. And he was quiet.

Imagine my surprise when I picked him up from preschool and the teacher asked me what I had done to him.

I was puzzled. “Why do you ask?” I said.

It seems that my son had followed his preschool teacher around all afternoon. He was upset. He had asked his mommy a question and she didn’t know the answer. He wanted to know why she didn’t know the answer. She was the mommy. Wasn’t she supposed to know answers?

The teacher and I laughed, and that story is one that has been much repeated about my son’s childhood. Which is why we both found it amusing that he was having the same conversation with his son.

I don’t remember ever telling my children that I hoped they had children who behaved just like they did. That always sounded sort of rude to me. Besides, I think they have turned out pretty well.

But it does seem that there are some similarities from generation to generation.


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