Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Momma, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Hitmen...

When my son, Jack, was three (five years ago...aka - a lifetime) we had this conversation in the car on the way to preschool:

Jack: Mom?

Me (driving the car): What?

Jack (with a sigh that made him seem much older - as if he'd conquered potty-training years before...which he hadn't): It's okay if you die.

Me (swerving for no apparent reason): WHAT?

Jack: It's okay if you die. I'll take care of Margaret.

(It should be noted that Margaret wisely says nothing at this point.)

Me: Um, why is it okay if I die? (Note - this is one of the things one never expects - let alone wants - to hear from their child.)

Jack: Well, Margaret can get a job as a rock star and I can support us by being a superhero Jedi.

Me (after thinking about it. there are worse things he could aspire to, after all): You get dental with that?

It was one of those precious conversations you always remember - kind of a Hallmark/Far Side moment. Now fast forward to present day, or, as it is known, the day before yesterday.

Jack: Mom. I know what I'm gonna be when I grow up.

Me (Trying to put dishes away while feeding two dogs and a guinea pig simultaneously): Oh? You aren't going to be a four-star general then become president like Eisenhower? (Oh by the way, long story that. My son is obsessed with WWII to the point he knows as much as a Ph.D in history. Mental note - monitor his viewing of the History Channel more closely.)

Jack (shaking his head with a sigh as if he's talking to a child): I'm going to be an assassin - like in your books.

Me (dropping dishes and dog food on the floor): What?

Jack: Well, you write about assassins and I'm in your next book as Jackson Bombay, so I've decided that's what I will do.

Me: Um, Jack, it's fiction. Mommy writes fiction. There is no Bombay clan and you are not going to be an assassin. You are going to college.

Jack: What do you mean - fiction?

(It's amazing that my son can pick out a King Tiger German tank from, say, your average, everyday, kitchen-sink sort of tank. He can tell you every rank in the military and what weapons they use. But he doesn't know what fiction is. That's probably my bad.)

Me: I made it all up. There is no Bombay Family. And as far as I'm concerned, there won't be one in real life.

Jack (pondering this for a moment): You mean, you write lies?

Me: No! I write fiction - stuff that isn't true - I make things up and put them in my books.

Jack (pointing a very accusing finger at me): You're a liar! How come you don't get punished for that?

Me: It's not lying. It's imagination. And actually, I get paid to do that.

Jack: You're right Mom. I don't want to be an assassin. I want to be a paid liar like you.

Somehow, in a weird way, this satisfies me.

The Assassin


Christie Craig said...


Love it Leslie.

Oh, kids have a way of saying things, don't they?

Crime Scene Christie

Terri Osburn said...

Don't you hate it when the kids turn out smarter than us?

Since your son is the same age as my daughter, I'm sort of glad they live really far apart. LOL!

Kim Castillo said...

OMG, this is completely hilarious. Les, I think Jack's got you all figured out. LOL

Keri Ford said...

Oh, goodness! What a character!

I believe you've got your hands full with that quick little buggar!

catslady said...

LOL So from now on I'm going to be saying all my authors don't write fiction - they're all liars roflmao.

Anonymous said...

Oh man. LMAO!! That's just too funny!

Hellie Sinclair said...

That's what every mommy wants to hear, "Mommy, I want to grow up and be a professional liar like you!" or shouting across the schoolyard, "My mommy can outlie your mommy any day of the week!"

It just gets better and better...

Suzan Harden said...


Leslie, are you SURE you don't want Jack to be an assassin?

Jana DeLeon said...

Too funny, Leslie!!!!! I've been calling myself the Louisiana Liar ever since I started writing books. Hey, there are worse ways to make some cash. :)

Leslie Langtry said...

Let's get t-shirts that say, "I Lie for a Living."

What do you think?


Heather said...

ROFL Leslie -- out of the mouth of babes, huh?

(BTW - love the t-shirt idea!)

Fedora said...

LOL! Leslie, those conversations are priceless! From Jedi superhero (who knew that came with dental?) to assassin to "paid liar"... that's AWESOME! Can't wait to see if that's what he'll truly choose :)

Shelley Munro said...

LOL - remember you get to remind Jack of this when he gets older.

Annette Gallant said...

Too funny!!

Angie Fox said...

Just you wait and see how he introduces you at his school's career day. :)

Gemma Halliday said...

Les, I love your kids.