Monday, August 11, 2014

A Lesson via TMNT : Keep Your Eyes Open

I won't be seeing the new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie, and not just because of my disdain for Michael Bay's movies. The turtles once played a key role in our family life, but that was a couple of decades ago. I am, after all, pushing 60, my kids are mostly grown. From the box office reports, it doesn't sound like they missed me.

But with all the hype the last few weeks, it reminded me of one of the wisest things I've ever heard a kid say. And I've heard kids say more than a few things.

It was 1991, and I had taken sons Jack (10 years old) and Ben (5) to see "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze." It's the one with the classic appearance by Vanilla Ice, who can now be seen in a mac and cheese commercial, as a himself working in a supermarket. It's always nice to see someone with a little perspective, who can poke a little fun at himself.

A few days later I was walking through Eugene's downtown pedestrian mall with the boys. And Jack went running on ahead to a manhole cover. (For the uninitiated, if there are any, the turtles lived in the sewers and emerged through the manholes.) He peered at it closely, kicking at it once or twice, then came back to me.

With a knowing look, he told me, "Any place could be a secret passage. That's why I keep my eyes open."

Something I try to keep in mind, as life offers the occasional secret passageway. You've got to keep your eyes open.

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