Fatherhood is a breeze, if you don't count all the studying.
It was last Saturday at the local Supercuts. I've got the whole family there, plunked down in those plastic chairs and reading golf and travel magazines. There are a few other people waiting. Gabriel asks a question - kind of casually.
"When was World War II, Dad?"
I had just found an article in my magazine that promised to shave 10 strokes off of my golf game, so I shot him back a casual answer.
"A long time ago, Gabriel."
When I didn't look up from the magazine, Bridget punched me in the arm.
"Answer him," she said.
"It's a trap," I said without looking up. One of the male patrons laughed.
"A trap? That's the weirdest thing I've ever heard," said Bridget. "Answer the question."
I didn't move. She appraised me for a moment.
"Unless you don't know the answer."
I looked at my wife for a second and put down my magazine. I looked at Gabriel, who was playing a Nintendo DS game.
"The United States entered the war in 1941, but it started in Europe earlier, in 1939."
I picked the magazine back up.
"When did World War II end?" he asked.
"I thought that was the Civil War."
"Nope. The Civil War ended in 1865."
"When did the Civil War start?"
"1861, I think."
Gabriel changed tack.
"Who were the good guys in World War II?"
"Lots of countries, but I'll go with the biggies...the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union."
"Who were the bad guys in World War II?"
"The Axis - the Germans, the Italians and the Japanese, mainly."
Gabriel wasn't done, but I could see my wife getting a little antsy.
"When did it end?
"Why did it start?"
"Lots of reasons, mostly economic. But Hitler lit the fuse by invading Poland."
He flicked off his DS and sighed.
"Dad, why was Hitler bad?
"Gabriel!" Bridget almost shouted. "That's enough. Let your dad read his magazine."
I scanned the golf tips.
"I told you it was a trap."