The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Sometimes my kids greet me at the window when I return home from work. Their second-floor bedroom is 15 feet off the ground and a good vantage point for spying my Buick (read: yacht) pulling into its parking spot at the end of an honest day's labor.

Yesterday Savannah was abnormally stoked for my return, since I'd promised her we could watch an episode off the Voltron DVDs I got her for Christmas after work. When I stepped from the car I was met with Savannah's tiny voice calling from the open window: "Daddy can we watch Voltron now?" You've got to love kids. They cut right to chase. Sue didn't waste time with small talk or trite greetings like "Hi daddy" or "Welcome home" or "How's it going?" or "That's a fine tie." She drove straight to the heart of the matter: get in here and let's watch some Voltron. She's blossoming perfectly.

By the way, I don't think I've been given appropriate props for getting my children the Voltron DVDs for Christmas. It was a shrewd gift. It appears to the untrained eye as if I bought it for Savannah, but it was really a gift to myself, merely cloaked in altruism.

Shannon mocks the cartoon about a giant robot composed of five rainbow-colored robot lions. She's never seen it though. I don't go around talking smack about Anne of Green Gables. I'm pretty sure it's lame. But I've never seen it so I don't knock it. Fried Green Tomatoes? I've seen it, so I can say it sucks rocks from a position of moral authority. I hereby challenge Shannon to watch an episode of Voltron and partake of the virtue it oozes. What virtue? Read on.

First, we expand culturally through viewing Voltron. For instance, one of the pilots of the robot lions is Norwegian. My Scandinavian accent has improved immeasurably after just five episodes. I'm sure my kids' comprehension of words like "Ja" is being likewise heightened. How many kids know where Planet Arus is? Voltron is teaching me and my offspring galactic geographic and cultural awareness. Savannah and Halen will be light-years ahead of the other, more Earth-centric children in 2nd grade.

Second, Voltron imparts on us the importance of teamwork. My kids are now gloriously aware that if you get together with four friends and pretend each of you is a respective limb of a big metallic being, you are then able to conjure a blazing sword out of thin air and whoop any and all evil beasts, lunchroom bullies, and teachers who grade on an unfair curve.

I'm not asking for much – just a little tolerance for robots from solar systems beyond our own. And props for my mad gift-buying skills.