MIcah and Jett,
I cut the tip of my thumb off.
You were begging for some watermelon, so I ignored my indefinite kitchen-ban (for putting dishwashing soap in the dishwasher), and came to the rescue. I fetched the longest, sharpest knife (which I now know is for cutting bread) in the CutCo set we recently overpaid for, and halved the melon in one swift slash.
Then I bled all over the thing and no one got a snack. It’s the thought that counts though, right?
When I told friends what I had done, they all laughed and said things like “figures” or, “only you.” What they mean by this is that I have a reputation for susceptibility towards the absurd. I guess a simpler way of putting it is that some of my friends think I’m a little dumb sometimes.
The thing about earning a reputation is that it can permanently and completely define you. People might ignore every action you display that doesn’t fit into the box they created for you. In my case, I’ve done, and had done to me, enough asinine things that I’m sure I deserve whatever people think about me- but the important thing is that I don’t let it define how I think about myself.
I’m telling you this because while you both might be little boys, you are already carving out reputations for yourselves. Micah- you’re sensitive and smart. People already expect you to perform calculus whilst reciting Robert Frost, on command. Jett- you like to party. I wish I was kidding when I say I’ve had to stop grown men from handing you a cold beer before just because they think you’re a miniature John Belushi.
They’ll be plenty of other labels that you’ll collect along the way- some you earned, some you didn’t. Some labels you’ll like, some you won’t. The important thing to remember is that people will always try to box you in so that they can understand you, but that doesn’t mean you have to live in that box. You can be many things, to many people.
Believe it or not, despite my inability to perform simple kitchen tasks, or maintain all my digits, I’m a fairly smart guy. I’m especially smart enough to know that I have two sons capable of being and doing anything they put their minds to. Despite our talents, it might be a few years before your mom lets any of us handle a knife.
I’m banned from almost all domestic duties and most modes of transportation, save for my feet, as they are not– under most circumstances–comprised of wheels.
It’s a good lesson to teach and to learn.