The Pep Talk

My husband had a tale to share with me when I got home from work yesterday. Over dinner, he simply said, “Remind me later to tell you about The Pep Talk.”

So later, when the children were not around, I asked him to tell me about The Pep Talk. And he did.

He was in the shower and when he got out, he could hear six year-old Hal giving a rousing pep talk in our bedroom. My husband’s face got animated as he recited what he had heard in a measured tone, carefully delivered to build excitement.

“Ok, guys. Here’s what we’ve got. We don’t have a week. We don’t have a month. We don’t have a year. We’ve got now. Now is all we’ve got. It has to be now. You got it?”

My husband told me to imagine the best football coach’s pep talk mixed with a professional wrestler’s smack talk interview mixed with the worst used car commercial I had ever heard. That’s how little Hal sounded. It was a perfect blend. He transitioned seamlessly from one to another and back again.

Then my husband had walked into the room and found a selection of Hal’s stuffed animals arranged in a pristine semi-circle on our bed.

“You’ve got to take down those bad guys! You’ve got to destroy them. You can do this! I believe in you! It all depends on you! Are you ready? Let’s do this! Today! Today! Today! Today! Today!”

He then returned to his own room, where he addressed the remaining stuffed animals, hanging out in the newly created “zoo” mounted on the wall above his bunk bed.

“I’m sorry that you guys can’t go. You are still my best guys. You are. You just didn’t get signed up in time. I’m so sorry.”

This empathetic speech, as if this pending battle or competition was equivalent to signing up for summer camp, was related to me through tears as my husband was laughing too hard to get the story out coherently.

I wish I had been there. Oh, how I wish I had been there.

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