Is it weird that I have started to think of a 4-year-old as one of my best friends?
Despite all the difficulties that come with raising -- or even being around -- a toddler, there are seriously moments when I'm with my son that I think there isn't another soul on earth that I would rather be talking to right now.
But really, why can't someone who's been alive less than a Senate term be your best friend?
Consider the facts:
- My sons likes the same things I like (often he likes them because I like them).
- He laughs at every single "funny" thing or joke I have ever told him, even the ones I have to explain to him.
- He doesn't drink, but he also doesn't get all holier-than-thou if I choose to. In fact, he seems to enjoy that I enjoy a beer or two.
- He is perpetually interested in my life and why I make the decisions I do, from the food I eat to why I favor boxers as sleepwear.
- He might get annoyed but he never gets offended when I offer constructive criticism, and sometimes he actually even changes his behavior.
- He’s really close with my wife, but not in a way I find at all threatening.
- He totally gets fart jokes. Like, on an almost spiritual level.
- He tells me he wants to dress like me and then gets upset when we can't. (Ok, that one is kind of Single White Female, but still ...).
- There is not a homophobic nerve ending in his entire body, and that in turn puts me at ease around him in a way I've never managed around other male friends. Case in point: When he recently joked that he was going to “eat my penis” and made mock chomping motions toward my crotch, I didn’t get weirded out and storm off and neurotically worry that I’d been giving off some vibe. I just laughed and gently suggested we not play that game. Ever. He was cool with that.
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It’s possible all this says more about me than my son. After all, I’m the grown man who seems comfortable relating on a 4-year old level. Maybe all I’m identifying with is the simplicity of our relationship. While he can carry on a conversation and understand basic concepts, because of the gap in life experience between us, my son and I have to relate on an elemental level. But that just lets me experience friendship itself as something it almost never is: uncomplicated.
Besides, one can never have too many people in their life who appreciate a good fart joke.
Image via pasukaru76/Flickr