This blog post written by Jack’s dad…
The truth just comes out of Jack before he has a chance to think about it. It’s one of my favorite things about him. He can’t even hide his feelings from his own face.
I remember when he was younger, his cousin Bryce had colored him a picture of the Joker. Bryce was only 4 or 5 at the time and the picture… shall we say… lacked definition. He presented it to Jack with a sense of pride that he had created something for his older cousin. Jack looked at it and his face instantly screwed up in an obvious critique of his younger cousin’s artistic skill set. I pulled Jack aside and talked to him about celebrating Bryce’s effort, even though it was mostly scribbles and didn’t look very much like the Joker at all. I also told him that it wasn’t necessary for us to keep EVERY picture that Bryce made for us and so we’ll just put it in the recycle bin.
Later on when Bryce came over to our house again, he and Jack were brushing their teeth in the bathroom. Jack says, “Bryce, I have to be honest with you, if the lips were red it would have been better, but we still had to put it in the recycle bin.”
Jack is getting to an age where this happens less and less. He is starting to pick up on social cues a little better and understands that not everything that is true needs to be said. Once in a while though, a good one still slips through.
The other day he was having trouble with his phone. Now it wasn’t the newest iphone, had my wife’s polka dot case and because it was a hand me down, he felt he had the liberty to “jail break” it. We warned him that if it goes array, he has to pay for a new phone. The “break” actually worked and not a day went by that he didn’t brag about how much his phone could do now that it was “jail broke”. He even proceeded to rename it ‘Samsung Smart Microwave GXL’ so when I go find where he is, I get a chuckle all the time. His birthday was this week and all he wanted for his birthday was wireless headphones and a comb. Simple enough. We got exactly what he wanted. He was so excited to have headphones that work and he took them with him to school the next day to listen to music. While at school, he had trouble connecting his phone to his new headphones. It led to the following exchange via text:
I laughed at this so much, although few other people understood the humor in it as much as I did. Jack is so literal he didn’t even notice the subtlety of my joke. I wasn’t truly interested in the date, I was making a sarcastic comment about him admitting I might be right. But it seemed to fly right over his head and he simply responded with what I asked for. Later he corrected me and said that his response was also sarcastic and that he understood my meaning. I was surprised, my son is growing up.
I am truly grateful for a son who values and yet is so carefree with the truth. The truth is so important to him that he couldn’t understand anyone who would want anything else. And it doesn’t need to be wrapped in anything pretty and flowery. The truth stands on it’s own and only needs to be said. This is a great lesson for all of us.