“On a Dime” By Chris Zito

When kids are little it’s easy to cheer them up. You can kiss their boo-boo, give them ice cream, or sometimes wait a few minutes and everything changes. Most children under eight are basically bi-polar.


There’s no height requirement for
the emotional roller coaster.

As they get older of course, kids’ emotions become more complex. Puberty kicks in and the child’s body becomes a hormonal jungle gym. Boys get angrier as testosterone invades their bloodstream at a breakneck pace. This is God’s way of helping the boy transition from breaking toys as a little kid to breaking pipes while trying to do his own plumbing as a grown man.


That’s right, son. One day you’ll look under the sink
and pretend you know what you’re doing.

Girls are a completely different story. Look up “Mood Swing” in the dictionary and it says: “see also-teenage girls.” I remember my daughter coming home from school in a crisis. After ten minutes in her bedroom she would emerge feeling relaxed and smiling. This was due to either the calm security of being home after a hard day or a hidden bong under the bed.


Dude! Seriously. Algebra schmalgebra!

Unfortunately, the complexity of a kid’s problems grow as they do. What parent of a high schooler hasn’t longed for the days when wiping a nose or changing a diaper fixed everything? They long for those days almost as much as the day the crazy, bi-polar, angry mood swinger moves the hell out of the house!


Going off to college? There’s the door. Make it so.

On the last day of her sophomore year, having just turned 16, my daughter came home distraught. She had received the French award, but lost out on another award she had really wanted. Nobody remembers which one now, but that day she was devastated as only a 16-year-old can be.  I could see in her the little girl who’s scraped knees I had kissed. I saw the kid who had worn a patch over her eye all through kindergarten and got through on sheer hug power from her mommy and daddy. But this kid had more on her mind. She had boys and college applications and financial aid and new body image stuff that dads don’t have a clue about.


Daddy! Does this blanky make my butt look big?

Sometimes dads get lucky and stumble upon the right thing to say. Suddenly I blurted out, “How about a driving lesson?”
A smile burst onto her face. “Really, Daddy? I’d love that.”
Still got it, I thought as she settled behind the wheel.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito

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4 Responses

  1. Patch over her eye!? HAHAHAHHAHA!!! May the incessant mocking commence. I have a text message to write. 😉

    I love when you write about Bayley. ❤

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