Saturday, October 6, 2012

Conversations: on fishing

Saturday morning.
We're all waking up and stumbling out of our caves.
Ian is hungry.

"Mom, can you fix me breakfast?"

I think for a minute.
"What do you want?"


"We're not going to do waffles this morning, bud. What else do you want?"

"I'll have a bagel."

"Okay. Go get the bagel cutter out."

"What? Mom! Whyyyyy???"

"You can make a bagel. I'll talk you through it."

"Mom, can't YOU make me the bagel? I don't want to make it!"

"No, you can make it."

About five minutes passes.
"Ian, have you had breakfast?"


"What are you having?"
"A bagel."

"Okay. Get the bagel cutter out."

"Moooommmmm. Can't you just make it FOR me?"

"Ian. Go get the bagel cutter out. I'll talk you through it. And then someday, when you're in college and living on your own you'll thank me for teaching you some very simple and very practical things."

"Yeah, but YOU didn't teach me to cook mac n cheese. Dad taught me THAT."

"Yes, and someday you'll be thankful. Because I could do it all for you, but that wouldn't be the most helpful thing for YOU."
(I realize what's about to come out of my mouth.)
"If you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. If you teach a man how to fish, he'll eat for the rest of his life.
Ian, I'm teaching you how to fish."

He looks at me with that sly little smile, realizing he's been cornered.
"But, Mom. This is a bagel."

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