Life gives us little reminders of the growth of our children. Of course, our children grow every day, but like the precipice of Niagara, childhood recedes bit by bit unnoticed in the rush of all that surrounds it.

So from time to time our children give us a reminder of how so much has changed while life rushed by.

This is what happened with my nine year old son. Let me put it this way, this boy has perplexed us since the day he was born. He among our children can confound in a way that no other can. He is capable of such astounding insights, sometimes. Other times, not so much.

After his first confession a few years ago we were driving home and he commented that his soul felt so clean he felt as if he could float. That caught me. The other day he made another confession. That he had made a huge dent the same shape and size as his head in the living room wall, just professionally painted the week before. But he reassured me that there was a bright side, he caught the ball. Well, life is a trade-off.

Anyway, this boy of mine who still from time to time puts his shoes on the wrong feet came to tell me something of great import.

“Dad, I am one of two kids chosen from my grade to represent my class in the school spelling bee.”

“Wow. That is great Sean! Congratulations!”

“Well, that is the good news Dad. There is some bad news.”


“Yes. The other kid going to the bee from my grade is the other Sean, Sean H. My Arch-nemesis!”

“Dude. You are nine. Don’t you think that you are a little young to have an Arch-nemesis?”

“Umm. No Dad. Every good guy needs an Arch-nemesis, it is part of how you know he is the good guy.”

“Well, I suppose that IS true. But what has he done that makes him your Arch-nemesis?”

“Well, ever since Kindergarten he has been mean to me. He says he hates me and he makes fun of me and makes mean faces toward me.”

“That’s terrible, but I hope that you are not mean in return.”

“No no. I just smile at him.”

“Well, that is nice.”

“Yeah. It really seems to creep him out. The more I smile at him, the more creeped out he becomes.”

Now at this point it was all I could do to keep from laughing. But I had one more question.

“Well, what makes him your Arch-nemesis as opposed to just your every day regular nemesis?”

“That’s easy Dad. I am an “Arch” (the nickname for all Archbold boys in perpetuity) and he is my nemesis. So any nemesis of mine is automatically an Arch-nemesis!”

“You have put a lot of thought into this, haven’t you?”

Then he just smiled at me. Gotta tell you, it was a little creepy.

*subhead*Of nemeses, Arch and otherwise.*subhead*