To all Ingenious Fathers Everywhere

He said, “Kenny look!” and pointed out in the hallway.  Even before I could think my head turned around and I followed Dad’s finger.  When I saw nothing and looked back Dad was smiling a mile a minute, acting like he hadn’t done anything but I noticed that his toothbrush was gone.  I let him know he didn’t fool me.  “Dad, how come you always hide your toothbrush, why don’t you keep yours with ours?”

Dad laughed.  “Well, Kenny, I guess I don’t keep my toothbrush with the rest of yours because unlike your mother, I was a little boy once myself.”

I thought about this for a second, then said, “What does that mean?”

Dad picked up my toothbrush and said, “Look at this, not only is this instrument perfect for brushing teeth, it has other wonderful uses too.  You see, Kenny, I know that in a little boy’s eyes there isn’t anything in the world that is better for general cleaning than a toothbrush, and the greatest thing about it is that with a good rinse afterward no one can tell what it was used for.

“I also know that the best toothbrush for cleaning stuff is always someone else’s.  So, rather than wondering what my toothbrush last cleaned, I think it’s better that it only goes places that I know about.”

— from The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

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  1. Smart man!


    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  June 16, 2014

      I’d say! I may take his advice even though I’m surrounded by little girls. 😉



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