Son doesn’t fear receiving bag of switches from Santa

I guess it happens to all of us sooner or later. You know, that time when you’re cruising through life, thinking that you’re hip or cool.

Well, maybe not hip. And certainly not cool.

But still you think you’re up on current events, and you can relate to young people, especially your kids. You can RELATE to them. You know you can.

Only to find out that while you were cruising through life, a couple of pieces fell off your car, including one of the tires. And oh, by the way, there’s been some NEW and IMPROVED kind of  new type of transportation built that makes your car look . . . well, out of date.

And makes you feel, ummmm, how can I put this nicely . . . it makes you feel a tad bit . . . old.

santa with switches

Santa’s idea of switches . . .

I had this experience right before Christmas. I was joking with my son this year like I do every year that if was bad, I would only give him coal and a bag of switches as gifts.

Only this year, instead of just joking about it, we actually talked about it. And that’s when I found out that not only were we not on the same page generationally, or even the same book. Nope. We weren’t even in the same library! (Or I guess today we’d say, we weren’t even on the same internet.)

Sure, coal he understood. It’s that black rock that used for . . . well, it’s used for something. My son could probably explain it.

But the switches. Well . . .

Of course, I was referring to the switches that one can get off a tree. These have been in the news recently as NFL player Adrian Peterson found himself in legal trouble after using a switch to discipline his son.

Obviously, my son hasn’t been disciplined in quite the same way.

Because as I found out, my son wasn’t imagining wooden switches at all. For all these years, he’s imagined a bag of light switches. And (as they say in the south) bless his heart, for the life of him, my son couldn’t figure out why this side of the North Pole I would give him even ONE of these, much less a whole bag of them.

. . . as opposed to my son's idea of a switch - which, in fact, I wrapped and gave to him this year.

. . . as opposed to my son’s idea of a switch – which, in fact, I wrapped and gave to him this year.

And he (once again operating in a world much different from the one I thought we shared) had been trying to formulate a plan for years on how he was supposed to use the coal and switches together to make something.

I laughed. Then I explained to him what I actually meant by a bag of switches. And then he laughed, a bit tentatively, but a laugh nonetheless.

But his expression said something more like, “Oh. Hmmmmmm.”


I might need a bag like this in the coming years to help keep me straight.

I might need a bag like this in the coming years to help keep me straight.

Yep, it’s not just another year gone and older on my end. Nope, I have had the unfortunate experience of realizing I’ve been driving around in an antique for a while now.

And I’m afraid it’s going to take more than just a little coal to get it up to today’s speed.


  2 comments for “Son doesn’t fear receiving bag of switches from Santa

  1. December 30, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Bless your heart, your kids are gonna leave you ‘n your switches in the dust 😊 It’s that darn cycle of life thing, don’tcha know…

    Happy New Year, Mark.

    • December 31, 2014 at 11:49 am

      Thanks, Sammy! Time can be tricky. I’ll be talking about something in class, and realize that’s it’s something that happened before my students were born! Of course, their blank stares should have been a clue.

      I hope you have a great year too.

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