1) Asserting that Wyatt Earp is a better movie than Tombstone.
2) Allowing your twelve year-old daughter to wear a tight, belly-exposing t-shirt that says “Built to Grind.”
3) French politicians.
4) German politicians.
5) Most politicians.
6) Equating George W. Bush with Adolph Hitler.
7) Anyone in the midst of a college education financed by his parents who has anything but warm things to say about said parents.
8) Childless people with vocal opinions about childrearing.
9) Lifelong Christians with no grace for sinners.
10) Not holding open the door for the person behind you.
11) Waiting until the last possible minute to merge.
12) Not letting people merge before the last possible minute.
13) Mistaking energy and boredom for Attention Deficit Disorder.
14) Citing Michael Moore as an authority on anything other than fried foods and self-promotion.
15) Advocating gun control from the safety of a gated community protected by private security.
16) Ordering a Big Mac, large fries, and a Diet Coke.
Yesterday Caleb, Eli, and I hunched down behind Caleb's bed and shot at bad guys storming our position from the yard down below. Caleb and Eli used wooden pistols, and I used a toy telescope doubling as a bolt-action sniper rifle. We had no injuries other than one gunshot to my shoulder, which the boys patched up. They are still of an age where neither they nor their army men ever get shot. We old guys are more vulnerable.
Last night, an hour or so after I put them to bed, I came upstairs to see Caleb standing in the dark at his bedroom window with his cowboy boots on, quietly shooting bad guys. "I heard something," he explained.
The night before last, I found him in his closet at 11 p.m., gearing up with his plastic sword and shield. "I heard a noise," he informed me.
Caleb has an imagination that lends itself to fearfulness at times; he hears noises and sees shadows around every corner. But I love his instinct. Would that I had such a response to every fear of my own. Instead I often just leave the armor in the closet, in my Bible, forgotten in verses I learned long ago. We can learn a lot from our children, if only we listen.