July 01, 2002

Outta the Mouths of

Outta the Mouths of Babes

The culture and life rhythms (or lack thereof) of WORK have been conspicuous in our household lately. Especially to me, the objective and detached observer hovering up in the high corner of the room watching my wife be 'oriented' for the umpteenth time to a new job; my son travel all the way to Vermont to interview for "a reimbursed volunteer position" that is essentially work without pay; and my own workless self, listlessly struggling to re-enter the world of work in a roller-coaster career in physical therapy.

Makes me think back long years ago, to when our Vermont-bound son was 5 years old, a precocious reader, and very vocal in large groups.

We were gathered on the occasion of the impending relocation of a friend and co-worker (Tim S, if you're out there listening). Having dinner at the Chinese Restaurant in the small Virginia town where we lived, a dozen or so friends of the soon-to-be former associate were coming to the end of our last meal together. It was time for the fortune cookies.

We went around the table reading our predictable mock-confusian hackneyed fortunes. You know the routine. The reading came round the table to young Nathan, who insisted that he would take his turn, and no help here, thank you. He started out with relative ease:

"Your....wor...working....life....will be...fi....filled..."

Here he paused briefly. He was stumped by a word he didn't know, but we had worked some with him on phonics and he was determined to make a stab at it. By this time, the entire restaurant crowd was silent, marveling at the reading acumen and general cuteness of this plucky, extroverted little chap.

"Your working life will be filled...with...(and he completed the sentence loudly in triumph)...EXCREMENT!"

Everybody in the place cracked up! We could hardly catch our breath! It was just too perfect. And was even funnier when we reached over and read that his fortune actually ended with EXCITEMENT!

This has become a family mantra, and when, as the bumper stickers say, IT happens on our jobs, we just say

"outta the mouths of babes"

Posted by fred1st at July 1, 2002 12:04 PM
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