One in a million
The other day during dinner, I found myself caught into the middle of a surprising argument between my wife and our ten-year old son.
“He had his hand out the window of the car,” she said. “When I told him to bring it in, he said that you let him do it!”
“He does!” my son said.
I looked sternly at him. “You know the rules. When you’re with Mom, you follow her rules.”
“Wait a minute!” My wife stared at me. “You mean you really do let him stick his hand out the window when you’re driving?”
“Uh, yeah. I do, too. It’s fun.”
“Are you crazy?” She proceeded to regale me with all the horrible things that can happen to someone’s hand when it is stuck out the window.
“Yeah,” I said. “I know. I told him to be careful, that he could lose a hand.”
“Lose a hand?” She just about exploded. “You’re the parent! You can’t let him lose a hand!”
“Look,” I said. “What are the odds of something happening? I mean, of all the people you’ve ever known, and all the people they’ve ever known, have you ever heard of anything happen? It’s like one in a million.”
At that point, she had us move the argument away from the kids, which is never a good sign.
Fast forward to yesterday. My wife was working, and the boys were building a water park in the backyard. The center piece of the water park was a hose that had been pulled up so that water ran down the slide. They’d put a mat at the bottom so when you slid down the slide, you splashed onto the mat and kept sliding. All in all, it was a pretty cool invention.
Then I saw my oldest son balancing a boogie board on the slide so he could ride it down. It was on top of the sides of the slide, meaning he was setting up to go sliding sideways off the slide right near the top.
“Nope,” I said. “Too dangerous.”
“But Dad,” he said. “I’ll be fine.”
“Sorry. That’s just a recipe for disaster.”
“Listen,” he said. “The odds of me getting hurt are less than one in a million.”
I tilted my head at him, eyebrows raised.
He sighed dramatically. “Fine. I won’t do it.”