#AtoZ2016 : D Is For Don’t

On Tuesday, when I got home from work, Little Tommy was waiting for me. “Mr. William, can I ask you something?”

I liked the boy, so I nodded, “Sure. Ask away.”

“Why do parents and teachers and babysitters, and aunts, and uncles, and grandparents, and everybody that’s a grownup, always tell me the things they don’t want me to do?”

I stood there, struck dumb by a six year old, with no clue what to say, “What do you mean.”

“Well, Mom said, this morning, ‘Don’t give the teacher a hard time.’ And Dad always says things like, ‘Don’t interrupt your mother,’ and ‘don’t forget to use soap.’” He stood, hands on hips, “It’s like they think I don’t know these things.”

I had to think for a moment, and Tommy noticed, “I can see the smoke leaking out of your ears where your brain cells are working so hard.”

I cracked up, “Yes, I’m thinking pretty hard right now.”

“I can tell,” he smiled. “It’s Okay. I asked a hard question, didn’t I.”

I nodded, as I wondered how to explain to a six year old why adults always tell you what you should do, and what you shouldn’t do, and fill your life with the word, don’t. “It’s something we grownups do. We remind ourselves of the things we don’t want to forget to do. And of the things we don’t want to do, because we know what happens when we forget.”

“So, grownups always hear don’t?”

“Yes, we do.” I nodded, “I hear don’t all the time. And I say it to myself all the time.”

He frowned, “I’m going to have to think about this growing up thing. It doesn’t sound so fun.”

“Oh, but there are good don’ts, Tommy. Like, don’t forget her birthday. And don’t forget your anniversary.”

Tommy rubbed his temples with his fingertips. “Now, Tommy, I can see the smoke coming from your ears.”

He laughed, and his hands went back to his hips. “Yeah. I’m going to have to think hard about that don’t thing.” He giggled, and then said, “Tommy, don’t forget to think about that don’t thing.”


It’s April 5th, the forth day of the A to Z Challenge for 2016. Only 22 more letters to write stories for this month.

Please, go explore the A to Z Challenge, and the sites of others who are participating in this adventure.

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