My son, the Future Rock Star, has the greatest smile. At full wattage, it beams his personality and charms crocodiles. Or, on occasion, head waiters in big city temples of gastronomy. Sometimes, he only has half wattage, a curl of the side of his mouth. No matter how many times I see one version of his smile or another, it always catches me by surprise and makes me think "I am his father!". Even when I have been considering smacking him moments before.
Last weekend we took a football trip to my alma mater. Sadly, the first such trip in a couple of years. A fine visit with glorious weather. As we strolled across campus toward the stadium, I was pointing out various historical points of interest. Of interest to me, anyway. At one point, the FRS took it upon himself to catch me unaware with a stealth question. One of those serious ones that teens will throw at you with the off hand.
"Did you like it when you were here?"
I glanced toward him at an oblique angle. With a teen, you have to make full use of the oblique angles since direct looks tend to provoke confrontation.
"Man, I loved it here. My time here was the greatest time of my life up to then."
"I would love it here too. I hope I can go to school here."
Hm. How about that? We continued our traverse through mingling throngs of alumni, students and fans. All of a sudden, he threw another curve ball at me...
"Do you like your life now?"
Good grief. We were squarely on the edge of deep water at this point. And not a happy hour in sight. I wondered if he asks his mother things like this.
"Buddy, I love my life now. And you know what? The best part of it is spending time with you like this."
It is a well accepted physiological fact that no human walking the face of the globe can roll their eyes like a teen. I don't care if you go into the heart of the Amazon River jungle. Find yourself a thirteen year old and his parents will also know all about rolling of eyes. My last pronouncement caused an instantaneous, near reflexive, roll of the FRS' hazel irises. A major roll. I peered at him from my oblique angle as we negotiated some seemingly drunken pre-game revelers. Then I saw it, even though he was not looking at me. That sparkling half smile. Flashed obliquely my way.
The game stunk. The day, however, was all sunlight and gold.