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Lessons from a 5-year-old


My wife went out of town recently for a well deserved weekend away from the four kids and me, the fifth kid. Having four kids freaks some people out, but for me and my wife it is just another day. Really, what would we be doing if we did not have kids? Anyway, we are somewhat spoiled and our kids are well behaved. So I decided to take them out to a favorite restaurant of ours.

Things were going great, with the service as good as it gets and the kids acting like they had been in a restaurant before. My youngest son had to go to the bathroom, like he always does when we hit a restaurant. So the other kids sat tight while I took him to the men's room. He had to go "dos," as my boys have taken to calling it.

We arrived at the toilet, and there was a cigarette floating in the water. For the record, I have nothing against tobacco or smoking, but the conversation that followed made me think. If a 5-year-old can see some of this, boy, the world is a funny place.

He asked what it was in the water. I explained it was a cigarette and that it was somewhat rude to leave it in the toilet. He proceeded to ask questions about cigarettes like, "Why would you smoke?" "Why is it in the toilet?"

I gave him the standard fatherly lines about the cost of cigarettes, the odor, the health problems, the choice you get to make, the fact that you get addicted to them, etc. His only response was: "Why do they make cigarettes?"

Wow. I, the man with all the answers, had nothing to say. Boy, did that put it all in perspective for me. A 5-year-old kind of figured it all out. I had no answer for him. There is no answer to that question. Or maybe the answer is: Because they can.

The whole world has gone crazy. Who knows what is right or wrong anymore? I read about how this is going bad, the war is bad, the president is bad, the schools are bad, gangs are everywhere, the election was fixed, working to pay the man, etc. I guess I am starting to be a bit confused.

The priorities of the nation are so far gone. A 5-year-old does not stand a chance in today's society. Even if he gets spoiled with the best parents and grandparents in the world, he could get ruined somewhere else.

I am now starting to get really concerned for the future of my children. The focus of the United States is as divided as it has been in 35 years. The problems outweigh the good.

Somewhere along the way, the priorities have become lost. I, for one, think that is the true crime. Who cares about the rest?

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