Looking for a Parenting Win

I sometimes wonder about our ability to mess with our children, either intentionally or unintentionally.

I'm a bit of a skeptic - I'll look at something that seems reasonably plausible on a Facebook post, or on something someone has emailed me, and before I react at all, I'll look it up on snopes.com, or check out news stories to see if it's true. Even then, unless I get conclusive evidence one way or the other, I'll couch my language with qualifiers. "Ooh, that looks bad," or "If this is true, that's great/horrible." I mean, I try to apply logic to everything that I hear or read, and for the most part, I feel like I succeed.

But I still look over my shoulder for police lights any time someone opens a glove compartment in a moving vehicle.

I'm sure my mom had good intentions. Forget that. I'm sure she was just sick of telling me to leave stuff alone in the car, or she was tired and just wanted quiet. I doubt there was anything in there that she didn't want me getting into (other than her usual aversion to jam hands on everything), but she might have been told the same thing when she was a kid, and let it sink into her bones. Anyway, she told me that I needed to keep the glove compartment closed because if the police saw that it was open when she was driving, we'd get pulled over and get a ticket because... well, because something. You need to understand, this was probably 35 years ago, and I just can't remember. Anyway, it sank in. They say kids are impressionable, and now I think I finally get that.

Which makes me think of the time I was talking to my son. He was probably six or seven, and I boldly stated that an orange is just a special kind of apple. Granted, I did say I was just joking, and his mom and I laughed about it, but I wonder. He's seventeen now, and skeptical. Way more so than I was as a child. He also likes to look things up to disprove them before commenting, though he takes way more glee in shooting down the arguments he disagrees with than I do. I'll chalk that up to his age. I just really want to be a fly on the wall when he confidently exclaims to his similarly-learned friends, in a future where age and (presumably) a different living situation have rendered me irrelevant, when he argues that an orange is just a special kind of apple. Then I will know that I have done my job as a parent.