For several days this month virtually the entire surface of Greenland melted—an area larger than ever seen in 30 years of satellite observations.
There are times when your parents really pull it off.
A while ago I told my daughter that my dad had made a robot when he was in high school. This is true! He built a robot (I’ve seen pictures) and then he went to Cornell and studied Electrical Engineering and somehow he miraculously pulled out of the nerd death-spiral he had entered and managed to have two sons, of which I am one.
But this robot-building is part of the legend of my dad. It’s a frequently discussed story (a FDS). It’s like an origin myth. It explains a lot.
So when I told my daughter this story, there was no purpose to it except to maybe explain my dad to her. To make Poppie, as he is known to her, seem cool and interesting.
And maybe my daughter has inherited some of the invention bug from him. She is constantly trying to create devices around the house (elevators, bug houses, snow globes – nearly anything) from the limited supplies we have: yarn, Scotch tape, recyclables and Tupperware containers.
She has a stubborn optimism in her inventing skills and with the possibilities. As an adult, I’d not even start a Tree House for Fairies if all I had was a milk jug, tape and some toilet paper tubes. But she is not discouraged. She has a totally un-earned faith in her abilities.
And this carries over to Poppie. Upon hearing of his robot-making skills, she decided that he would make her a Robot Fairy. She created a schematic (see above) that I sent to my dad. Before he came to visit in the spring, I warned him. I told him that she fully expected him to build her said Robot Fairy. When he arrived, there was a lot of animated discussion about the Robot Fairy, but Poppie “didn’t have his tools.” That excuse seemed to work… for a time.
But then, upon the eve of our trip to visit my dad at the beginning of summer she started talking about it again. I sent him another warning. She might not swallow the tools excuse when his full workshop was available to him. My dad and I had a rather casual conversation about it and I left feeling worried about it.
I had told her the Robot Fairy story to build my dad up to my daughter and now here it was about to tear him down. Because my dad also has the dad gene that all of us dads have: the laziness gene. The one that tries to get away with not doing the thing-that-is-a-pain-in-the-ass. I do it all the time! You say, “Yeah yeah, we’ll see.” Or “Let’s talk about it later,” and you pray that your kid forgets all about wanting to buy a parrot or start a Clubhouse or whatever it is. These passing fancies in time shall go. But sometimes they don’t.
And sometimes, instead of the Lazy Gene, the Awesome Gene wins. Sometimes, when you’re on your game, you’re dealing with Awesome Dominant, Lazy Recessive (Al, not La).
When we got to New Hampshire, totally unexpectedly, my dad had built a Fairy Robot for my daughter. A totally weird, creepy amazing Robot Fairy (see above). She was thrilled. I was proud. And Poppie’s legend lives on!