But he’s only sixteen

We went to grandson Morey’s confirmation on Sunday.  Mo and twenty-five other awkward sixteen-year-olds regaled the crowd with their thoughts about the world, us, and their future.

A free-wheeling liberated bunch, they were given their heads and encouraged to say whatever needed saying.  One pimply youngster proudly exclaimed “I don’t believe in God.  I don’t need God.”  Heady stuff after the culmination of years of religious study in a venerable house of worship.

Following the ceremony we were treated to a buffet lunch and a discussion of what Mo wanted to do with his summer vacation.  Deftly avoiding any mention of a job, he said “I want to leap across the Grand Canyon with a rocket pack on my back.”

I asked “Why in the world would you want to do that?”

“I’ll be the youngest person ever to do it.  It’ll be in the record books until I’m a very old man.  Maybe even thirty years.”

Having had nothing alcoholic in the previous twelve hours, I asked “But isn’t that a bit dangerous?”

“Not any more dangerous that driving an automobile.  Did you know, Papa, that ten thousand teenagers are wiped out in cars every year?”

Point well taken.

“But, Mr. Smarty Pants, what experience do you have leaping canyons with a rocket on your back?”

Extending to his full fifty-seven inch height, he proclaimed “Lots.  I’m on the cross-country track team, in the concert band, and I studied geography a couple of years ago.  I won’t get lost.  Oh, and I can trampoline.”

I thought a bit.  “You know, if you fall into the canyon and float helplessly down the Colorado River, the National Park service will have to mount a dangerous, very expensive rescue effort.  Other people could get hurt.”

“Isn’t that what they get paid for?  If it wasn’t for daredevils like me, they’d be out of a job and slinging burgers at McDonalds.”

I turned to Mo’s mother.  “Nancy, talk some sense into this kid.  He’s too young.  He hasn’t a clue about what he’s getting into.”

With a confident smile on her face, she said “We’ve talked about it a lot.  He’s watched the Evel Knievel documentary five times.  He’s a bright kid.  He got mostly A’s.  If he shows as much skill with the rocket pack as he does with his X-Box game, I think he’ll make it.  Plus it’s not that far from home.”

“And, with his religious upbringing, he’ll be in good hands.  Just like Abby Sunderland.”

6 Responses to “But he’s only sixteen”

  1. 1 arthur vander June 14, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I knew it had to be only a matter of time before the Sunderlands went for their own “reality” show. Exploitation of Children 101.


  2. 2 Grand Pa George June 14, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Over my Dead Body, Fred.


  3. 3 Sharon June 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    This would definitely keep me up nights!


  4. 4 Harry Levin June 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Hopefully he’s putting you on to gat a reaction. I’d chuck it up to 16 year old testosterone. I’d worry more if he went out to buy some rocket tanks, which I think are pretty unavailable.


  5. 5 Andrew June 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I would encourage the young man to continue to question organized religion so he may not believe one day that he is in good hands, this can lead to dicey decisions.


  6. 6 Kay June 17, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Was this conversation for real or what? Is this what happens when you have a good education both religiously and scholary? Or is this because he lives in California where most people in the Midwest think all Californians are crazy?

    Good luck Nancy.


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