Me: “So, Noah, how’s it feel to be gainfully employed?”
Noah: “Pretty good!”
Me: “You know that Weigel’s card in your car you use to pay for your gas directly from your parent’s bank account? Let’s give that back to your mother.”
Noah: “Oh. Okay.”
Noah, complaining to older sister: “They made me give back the gas card.”
Older sister: “What?! They never paid for my gas!”
Last night, as I prepared dinner, I asked my youngest (14) if he wanted to play a game of chess. He eagerly agreed and after finishing his battle on his computer game, set up the chess set on the table. We started playing. I made a move then prepped an ingredient for dinner. Made another move, prepped. After I stood up for the third time, my son said, “Dad, I’m going to go do my school work before it gets too late.” That hit me in the feels. Fortunately, dinner was ready to go into the oven for 30 minutes. I felt I was a few moves away from checkmating him so I said, “I’m about to end you. Let’s finish. This will be quick.” He perked up and I gave my undivided attention to him and the game. In the blink of an eye, the oven beeped. 30 minutes passed in the flash of an eye and the game had turned. Two terrible moves by me gave my son control of the board and he destroyed me. Then he returned to his room to either study or game or both. It was a great moment.
I wish I could turn the clock back 19 years and make every night like last night. I have allowed busy to replace bonds. Excuses to prevent experiences. I have great children. They have had good lives. I could have done so much better. With the time I have left, I will do so much better!
My children may never know
How many tears I shed for them
Tears of joy for their successes
Tears of sadness when they are down
Tears of regret for my mistakes
Tears of anguish at my shortcomings
Tears of frustration for lack of time
Tears of angst for their future
Tears of confusion when they do not listen
Tears of acknowledgment that they walk their own path
Tears of befuddlement for making the simple hard
Tears of acceptance for innocence lost
Tears of pride for the compliments they receive
Tears of satisfaction when they smile at their achievements
Tears of ecstasy seeing them grow into independent adults
Adult son takes over garage…I can cope.
Adult son takes over driveway…I can cope.
Adult son takes over lower lot of yard and landscaping…I’m a little twerked but I can cope.
Adult son takes over refrigerator and kitchen…we may have just crossed a line.
I’ve reached that point in my life when I have decided I want a 2.5 or 3 car garage…so that my adult child can live in an efficiency over said garage.
Me: "Happy birthday! What do you want to do on your special day?"
Evan, 13 today: "I’m going to spend the day at the pool with two girls from West High School."
Me: *Well, that escalated quickly.*
This is what it is like having a phone call with your teenager:
Me: "I love you."
Teen: "Alright. Bye."
Noah walks in shirtless.
Mom: "Amy, put lotion on your brother’s back."
Amy squawks through the house: "Whaaaat?!"
Dad: "It puts the lotion on the skin!"
Noah: "I can do it."
Our Delta kitchen faucet has been dripping for weeks..er, months. Each drip is the resounding echo of money going down the drain. It is also environmentally irresponsible. Our fix was to put a sponge under the drip so the sink would quit imitating a bass drum. I dreaded replacing the washers but finally decided to do it only to find that mineralization had frozen the screw which holds the hand to the faucet so tightly that I thought I’d break the handle getting it off. I soaked it in vinegar for days and, eventually, it broke free. That’s when I discovered you cannot replace the washers. Delta uses a cartridge which you can from Amazon for $20 or HomeDepot for $25ish. When I went to HomeDepot, the kind salesperson suggested that I contact Delta because they warranty these things. Sure enough, I called Delta today and in under 3 minutes a free replacement cartridge is on its way. In 7-10 days, our drip will be repaired. I cannot believe I put this repair off so long!
I’ve jumped the shark.
Me: “Do we have an Xbox one?”
Noah, 20 years old, flatly: “No.”
Me: "Who threw clothes on the stairs? I need to strangle a child."
My 14 year old daughter: "I’ll be right down!"
Me, to myself: "I don’t think she understood what I said."
Me: "Goddammit, quit stepping on the cats!"
(Probably not the most constructive statement in the moment)
After 16 years, I have finally figured out when I can and cannot ask my wife for a special dates. Data is beautiful!
Context: Evan, our 11 year old, helped me drop one of the cats off at the veterinarian for a comprehensive exam last Wednesday. Behind the scale is this sign. Recently, both our 12 year old and 9 year old German Shepherds died.
Evan, 11 years old, studies the sign: "Dad, I think our next dog should be a three, four, or five."
Me: "Evan, that’s not a menu."