Sometimes, when it's quiet, I like to think about what my kids will be when they grow up. I like to think that my daughter Riley will grow up to be a doctor. Gabriel, my oldest, seems destined to become an artist of some type.
Julian, my four year-old, will consult with high school career counselors who will suggest that he become Loki, the Norse god of mischief and lies.
How do I know? I walked into my house the other day after work and saw all three of my kids sitting on the couch watching the television. I didn't see my wife, so I looked for her in the kitchen. No dice. I went back into the living room.
"Where's your mom?" I asked.
Without looking up, Julian answered, "She went to the store, Dad."
And, God help me, I actually believed him. For a few seconds, I wondered what the hell had come over my wife. Why would she leave a three year-old, a four year-old and seven year-old by themselves? What could Bridget possibly need from the store that warranted taking a risk like this?
Just then, Bridget came out of the bathroom. I looked at Julian and he was smiling like a celebrity endorser.
"Was that a good joke, Dad?" he asked.
"Not even close," I replied.
Yesterday, I sat on the couch eating orange jelly beans. Julian sat beside me and Gabriel sat on the other side of Julian. I decided to share my jelly beans as a kind of fatherly gesture. Also, I had calculated that if the boys were eating, they wouldn't be talking and I'd be able to hear the Naruto cartoon on television better.
I handed a jelly bean to Julian. With my peripheral vision I saw him looking at the jelly bean and I turned my attention back to Naruto. I handed Julian another Jelly bean.
"Here. Give one to your brother Gabriel," I said.
A few seconds later, Gabriel made a weird sound.
"Ugh," Gabriel said. "Why is my jelly bean wet?"
Julian had turned his face away from his brother and toward me. He smiled a huge, bright smile and gave me a thumbs up gesture - like a pilot - or, more correctly - like a pilot who had just handed something strangely moist to another pilot.
I considered yelling at Julian but, honestly, it was a good joke. Even now, I have no idea what Julian did to the jelly bean. I glimpsed Julian's possible future as Loki, god of mischief and lies. The Wizard of Lies. The Sly God.
At least he won't be a telemarketer.