“OK Dad, there is something I want to do and I know you’re gonna say ‘no,’ but I just want you to listen to the whole thing without saying anything,” my 13 year-old son says to me.
“Go ahead,” I say with my arms folded.
“So, I have this old iPhone 5 that wont even turn on,” he says, trying to contain his enthusiasm. “I have been smashing it with a hammer and now I want to set it on fire. And I know that gasoline is really dangerous, so…after I pour gasoline on it…(My face now showing disbelief) …I’m going to stand ten feet away…
“Um, I don’t think so!” I begin.
“Just listen!” he implores. “Then I’m going to take my Nerf bow and arrow set and dip the end in the gasoline and light it on fire and then shoot it at the iPhone so I can light it without getting burned!”
He then looks at me, so incredibly excited and proud of himself, as if he’s just discovered the cure for cancer that tastes like chocolate. “What do you think? Brilliant, huh?”
“Not going to happen,” I say casually.
“But dad!” he implores.
At this point, I am turning away pretending to be disgusted, when in fact it is exactly what I would have wanted to do at his age. Of course, my father would have said: “Not a chance.”
“I appreciate the creativity,” I say. “But my 13 year-old son is not going to play with gasoline. Not going to happen Bubba.”