15 years ago, I made the greatest decision of my life. Happy Anniversary Cathy! You truly complete me.
I’m pretty sure as a child I wanted to be an architect (thank you Dad and Michael Brady), and maybe an astronaut, and definitely an entertainer; but NEVER do I recall saying, “Hey, I’d like to spend the better part of my adult life cleaning up pee and poo and other bodily fluids.”
My eldest son: "Dad, the mower won’t start."
Me: "I’ll take a look at it."
Cranks on first pull. I report back to my son, "Started on the first try."
My son with holier-than-thou indignity with a touch of anger and a dash of annoyance, "Well I’d sure like to know what you are doing different than me because I pulled that string for 10 minutes and it didn’t start."
Me: "I put gas in it."
The daily grind. People say such flippantly. But it wears on us. Grind. Dulling the edge. Like gears without oil. And our performance drops. Then our enthusiasm wanes. Leading to more stress. GRIND. Along comes motivation. Acceptance of the mistakes. A revitalization. But to escape the beatdown. You must work three times as hard. grind.
I am so loved by my family! And I so do not deserve it. They love me unconditionally. I have been weak recently. I have responded to my children and wife in anger this week. Each time was completely unnecessary. Stress is no excuse. Most recently we had a fire in the house. Amy burned a note her brother wrote a time ago. It had some ugliness in it she decided no one else should see so she burned it in a trash can filling the house with smoke. I was calm as I sought out the smell of fire. She was afraid and denied it being a fire. I said, “that is a fire” to which she replied, “no it is not a fire.” I was flabbergasted and lost my temper. I brought tears instead of taking the opportunity to teach. The fire was controlled. We could have observed it. Discussed it. But alas, I yelled. Words and shouts in anger are no different than using hands for hitting. I regrouped and asked that we open all the windows. Two remained closed and when I asked Amy to open them she back talked and my anger resurfaced. Oh teenage girls…so difficult.
I was just treated to an early Father’s Day. My family is terrific! I am so undeserving of their love. I vow to be a better father to them. A better provider. And a kinder soul. To my family, I love you!
Tommy: "You were typing on my keyboard the other night weren’t you?"
Me: “Yes, I just wanted to try it out. I’m thinking about buying one.”
Tommy: “The guys in my forum got a good laugh out of that.”
Me: “Oh, your monitors were off but your computer was still on wasn’t it?”
Tommy: “Yup. You typed your initials and part of your name. Then ‘This would be a good keyboard for programming.’ and some random characters. I told them ‘Oh, that was just my dad playing on the keyboard.’ They got a good laugh out of it.”
- I’ve become THAT dad.
- it is time to change that password.
Today is beautifully sunny. Apparently the children have a dental appointment in 2 hours (on Memorial Day?!). I’m at the computer programming and feeling guilty that I’m not spending time with the children.
This time the carburetor rebuild worked…damn.
Her: What do you want for dinner?
Him: *something* *something* *9 1/2 weeks* *inappropriate* *something*
Her: Help me!
Her, holding up iPhone: Somehow, I don’t know how, it recorded that.
Him, grabbing iPhone sees an audio message sent to…Granny.
Him bolts out front door to see Granny fidgeting with her phone.
Him opens door to car and grabs phone.
Granny: I’ve never received an audio message before.
Him: I think it recorded silence.
13 year old, giggling: I think Dad recorded something by accident.
Him: It was your mother and it had secrets. *delete*
Her: I deleted it but it just took a while.
Him: That deletes it off your phone, not hers!
Me: "Do you want steak for dinner?"
Boy child: "Do we have barbecue sauce?"
Me: "Ok, sirloin for you."
The state of TN is at war with public education. They are out to destroy public education and my youngest two children are on the front lines. We are testing our children to stupidity. The teachers have no time to provide a quality education because we are constantly prepping for the next test. I am pro-gadget, pro-electronic and want my children absorbed in this fascinating digital world with their easy access to all of humanity’s knowledge. However, my ten year old’s generation is suffering as the first generation to be raised from birth with screens in front of them. Their craving for information and multitasking is on par with a cocaine addict, alcoholic, or gambler.
I personally have fallen. I have failed to dedicate time to my children. Today changes that. Today we began meditation and reading aloud (Jonathan Livingston Seagull). Today we began to learn about First Things First with a discussion of the four quadrants and how to live in Quad II. Today is a good day and will be followed by so many more.
Me: "I love you Amy. You are awesome!"
Amy: "Thanks. It runs in the family."
At some point, I just need to accept that I’m a horrible person and hope that perhaps my children can rise above and not be anything like me.