DON'T FORGET TO LAUGH
The Rubik’s Cube Imposter
Whoo hoo. Today is my son Chris’ birthday. When he popped out 29 years ago, he immediately took over my life. I was not a helicopter mom who hovered above. I was a drone that continuously circled as close as possible without crashing.
Having no great accomplishments in my life, well, besides growing the best lima bean sprout in my second grade class, I lived for his. I became what some would call an obnoxious jerk.
If Chris touched the basketball during a parks and rec game, I whooped and hollered. Should he score a basket, I would scream at the top of my lungs. Loud? The International Space Station called and asked me to keep it down.
It was this vicarious pride that led to the Rubik’s Cube bragging. No sports trophy, Science Olympiad medal or Scout badge could match the bragging I did after my preschool-aged Chris solved a Rubik’s cube.
His younger brother, Jesse, can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 30 seconds. I hold the record in our house for the least amount of time with the cube. After 5 seconds, I give up and toss it to Jesse. But dear Chris gets the prize for solving it at the youngest age.
The multicolored cube was not placed in his 4-year-old hands to test his intelligence. The cube, bearing some company’s logo, was a marketing piece left lying around the house. One sunny afternoon, I saw Chris pick it up and start turning the different levels. Then I left the room to go clean the kitchen. I could see him fiddling with it, I but didn’t give it that much attention.
Then, about 10-15 minutes later, I went back to check on him. Chris sat there holding the cube. All sides were solid colors. I asked Chris, “Did you just do this?” Stupid question, considering we were the only two in the house. He said, “yes,” and I went insane. My four-year-old had solved a Rubik’s Cube
I called my mother and father and in-laws to tell them what incredible feat their grandson had done. I called my siblings and friends. Of course, I had to tell his preschool teachers. It was time to plan the future for my genius child.
For weeks, I bragged to everyone who would listen. I was sure every neighbor Sunday School teacher and waitress would be thrilled for me, err, I mean Chris
I sat Chris down and told him how special he was to have solved the puzzle. My sweet boy said, “It’s not that hard.” Then smiling he picked up the cube and peeled off a colored square. I cannot repeat the word that went screaming through my head. My kid had peeled and moved the squares on this cube that was not the authentic Rubik’s. No one had ever told him that’s not how to solve the puzzle.
There was only one thing to do. I made Chris promise to never, ever tell anyone the truth. Nah, I bit the bullet and contacted friends and family and told them how Chris found his own way to do the Rubik’s cube imposter. I had learned my lesson. Thank you, Chris.
Carol Wilber Bradfield
Carol Wilber Bradfield is one of those "Lake People." She snuck into Davidson many years ago when someone left the gate open one night. If seen, please approach carefully and give her a hug... and cash if you have it. Lots of cash. Thank you.