Of Heroes and Villains

Kids Say The Darndest Things.

We just got back from vacation.  My wife and I drove from Long Island to Florida with our five kids in our minivan. Yeah.

Ostensibly, we made the trip to visit my brother and his family who live just north of Tampa.  But of course, since we were down there, we had to go to Disney.  I think it is a law.

But before we get there, lets talk a little about the ride down.  No, I am not going to tell you about the blood-curdling screams from the back “His arm touched me!!” and the “Hey, that’s mine!! Give it back! Mooooooommmmmmm!!”

No, that is another post.

What I want to talk about is the hushed tones in the car.  My wife and I spoke in hushed tones much of the way down.  You see, we spoke softly because we were discussing politics.  It was a long trip and there is so much going on.  We talked about the current multi-front war on the Catholic Church going on in this country.  We talked about the nomination process.  We talked about lots o’ stuff like that and we did it all in hushed tones.

We speak in hushed tones because we don’t want the kids to hear, especially the younger ones.  We feel that some of them are too young to understand the reality of it all and to put it in its proper context.  So we insulate them from such discussions.

Cut to Disney.  After a long and fun-filled day at the park, the family made our way back to the parking area.  At the parking pavilion, you can get on one of two sets of buses to two different lots.  The heroes lot or the villains lot.  We were in the heroes lot.  One of my children, the eight year old boy, asked what the villain lot meant.  I explained to him that the parking areas were named after Disney villains, the bad guys in movies.

So my eight year old and six year old boys got into a deep discussion trying to name as many Disney villains as they could.  The evil witch from Snow White, James Hook from Peter Pan, etc.  Back and forth they went naming villains.  After a while the names came more slowly because they really had to think about it.  And just when I thought the conversation was over, my eight year old said “Lotso! Toy Story 3 is a Disney movie, right dad?”

“Yes, it is Pixar which is Disney owned. So yes, Lotso counts.”

My six year old did not like the 8 year old getting the final word on this little contest and I could see his wheels turning. And then he smiled.

“I have one.  Barack Obama.  He was in the Hall of Presidents, so that makes him a Disney character and he does evil so that makes him a villain! Right, Dad?”

So, as you can see, those hushed tones are working very well.