I'm a little worried about my son. He is 7.
The other day, he said, “My favorite kind of car is a Camaro.”
“Really?” I asked. “Where did you see a Camaro?”
“Oh,” he replies, “I didn't see one. Matt just told me they're the coolest car ever.”
Fear strikes my heart as I jump to the only conclusion possible: My son will be a mulleted, heavy-metal-band-loving, Camaro-driving pothead.
Yes, I know this is a stereotype. But if you grew up in podunk-ville Michigan where every kid wanted a souped up muscle car, you would jump to the same conclusion. Some kids actually saved their meager earnings from working on the family farm or at the local fish processing place, and they were able to live their dream of squealing their tires in front of the high school before they went home to don their shit-kickers for the evening milking. Others were so desperate, they just painted flames on their AMC Gremlins and hoped no one would notice how slow they were going while they pushed their cars down the street.
Here's a question: do ALL boys EVERYWHERE end up craving cool cars? Is it inherent in the male gene, or is there an unspoken code among all males of our species that all little boys must desire cool cars when they grow up? I mean, have you ever met a little boy who wanted nothing more than to grow up and drive a 15-passenger van? Or a station wagon?
Anyway, my fears about my son began to grow, when days later, I found him sitting on the couch, remote in hand, completely absorbed in “Dream On” by Aerosmith, which he found on YouTube. I'm also fairly certain I've heard him humming “Stairway to Heaven” recently. Pink Floyd is next, I just know it.
I admit I will probably not have to deal the pothead part. (Or is “pothead” not politically correct any more? Maybe I should say “cannabis connoisseur.”) We talk openly to our kids about smoking, drinking, and drugs and all the problems that could ensue. In addition, my super-sonic sense of smell can detect that stuff from a mile away. Yes, I may have encountered the smell of weed more than once in my life, but I have never tried it, I promise. And I never bought the story that the scent was a Renuzit air freshener.
In the end, I bought my son a folder with a picture of a Camaro on it, for him to use at school. He seemed thrilled with it, and it seems to have appeased his Camaro hunger.