Friday, March 07, 2008

The end begins

The other night Ross and I were googling Far Side cartoons (Ross is really into comics lately, mostly Calvin and Hobbes). We were having some good times until this one popped up:

Foreground: "It seems that agent 6373 has accomplished her mission" says one cow to another.
Background: "Chicago" in flames.

"I don't get it," I say to Ross. "Apparently some cow is causing trouble in the city," then I move to click to the next cartoon.

"Wait!" says Ross. "I know what it is about. You know the great Chicago fire of 1871? It was started by Mrs. O'Leary's cow who kicked over a lantern in the barn. Whoo hoo. That's funny. Like the cow was a secret agent..."

I scratched my head.
I paused for a moment, for dramatic effect.
I felt something shift.
I felt the tide change.
This was a pivotal moment in our lives.

You might be thinking, it is just a cartoon.

It isn't. You see, I'd never heard of Mrs. O'Leary's cow. Yet, I know something about American History. I like to think I do, at least. I have a degree in it.

Of course, I began to rationalize, the whole cow story was made up by a newspaper reporter, who knew an Irish Catholic immigrant scape-cow would sell newspapers. He later admitted the lie. I just learned that on Wikipedia.

But, you see, Ross knew it, and I didn't. We weren't talking about Pokemon or sports, subjects in which no one expects me to know anything. Including me.

He's only just nine. I think this Far Side cartoon begins the end. Obviously, I still have a few things to teach him, but how much, and for how long? This whole cow incident isn't just a one-off, and I know it.

I suppose I should have been expecting this. I've had years to get used to the idea, ever since he was 18 months old and I would ask, "Ross, show me the letter B, " and he would respond:

"upper case or little case?"

It is different now, don't you see?

I knew the letter B.
Both of them.


Jolene said...

I feel your pain. Last night I told my kids that Davy Crocket was a legend like Paul Bunyon or Johnny Appleseed. I was wrong. And they were too happy to point that out with backup from their text books. I hate that.

One Sassy Mama said...

Ummm-I have to admit I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now--I knew something that Kelly B didn't know! Never thought that day would come. But I always knew the day would come when Ross would surpass my intelligence - actually I think that happened when he was 5 and corrected me during sharing time. hehe

Shannon said...

that is so funny that he noticed that! Boston (who is almost 9) just finished a Report on Thomas Edison and it told the Story of the cow kicking over the Lantern and starting that huge fire in Chicago....Smart little Stinkers!

Lizzie said...

Join the club Kelly....Ross was graduating from that Stats class at ASU the same time I was :)

Gini said...

OH boy.. so sorry... when Jake was 18 months old someone in passing said, "Where is your mom?".. he replied, "She is upstairs in the Relief Society room". My friend gasped when this sentence came out of the little boy's mouth and that was just the beginning! It hasn't stopped yet! Good luck.