Monday, June 14, 2010
it was friday evening. it was after school and after homework and a hearty meal. i gathered the kids together on the couch to share what i had spent the last few weeks writing. i wanted this to be special or hopefully impact their lives for the better for many years to come. i wanted everything to be just right so i let the sizzle and crackle of the fireplace be the only noise in the room so they could focus and meditate on what i was about to speak. as they all sipped their hot cocoa and finished their crumpets, i turned off the tv to signify that i was about to go socrates on them.
on the chair next to me, i had set up what i was going use as my visual aid covered by a patterned blanket. at just the right moment, i began my speech.....
"ya know kids, ive been around and know quite a bit about how life works. i mean, kiera, when you were born i was 22 years old, in college, and working. i was all but forced to mature rather quickly and i hate to brag, but after 3 kids, i find myself to be a wise man. anyway, i saw this and knew i had to have it because it speaks the wisdom and knowledge that i desperately want to teach you 3."
it was going great. i unveiled my woodly wisdom which i found online. it was titled '5 simple rules' and when i saw it, i ordered it and immediately began to plan this moment. these 5 simple rules would usher my kids into an understanding of life that would never fail them. i hadnt quite got around to writing out all my words for the last two points, but i figured i would just let the momentum from the previous 3 propel me into my conclusion.
"guys. its really simple. first off live everyday like its your last. dont take anything for granted and.....sammy, please take your fingers out of your nose when im talking to you. thats very rude, okay, and not to mention distracting. im trying to share somethings right now that are very important and i need your full attention. not half of it."
my son is the youngest and easily the most rambunctious of the lot.
"hehe half of it?? how would you even measure that?" said my oldest and wisest ass of the three.
"you know what i mean. just pay attention is what im trying to get at....jadyn are you snoring?"
"but dad this is so boring and im already sleepy from the cocoa. are you almost done or what?"
my middle is just that. THAT middle child and always speaks her mind even if its borderline rude.
"okay guys! listen, ive spent alot of time trying to get this just right, can you just give me a moment of your time? i mean the next thing i wanted to talk about fits perfectly. you have got to learn all you can. whether it be in school or 'on the streets', you have got to learn all you can. learn from your mistakes. learn when to speak up and when to keep quiet...like now. you can never learn too much and...kiera? do you have to practice gymnastics right now?"
"im just working on my routine dad."
"well why not?"
"oh i dont know, maybe because i asked you guys to sit down and listen to my simple rules speech! ya know what, im going to try and not even get angry, because my next point speaks on the importance of laughter. a wise man once said, 'laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life. guys you gotta learn to laugh"
"i laughed today and it really was good"
finally someone was listening
"see! thank you for that my one and only son! what were you able to laugh at and how did it affect your young life? wanna talk about it?"
"today in school. my teacher sat in her seat funny and it made a fart noise. we all laughed."
"uhhh, first off take your fingers out of your nose. secondly, thats not what i was getting at."
"what do you mean?"
"i mean, when i say laugh, i mean...jadyn? really? are you juggling?"
"no not any more."
"yeah not now that i said something you arent! please, just sit down so i can go on to the next one!"
"i heard it at school."
"okay maybe another time sammy."
"why are butterfingers so crumbly?"
"...cmon. are you serious right now? why are your fingers always in your nose? i dont get that."
it was not going as i planned. i had 4 pages of hard hitting life lessons and they werent listening. they were more side-tracked than the village people at an all male mud wrestling event. i went through the first 3 with little to zero success and was scrambling. i had no momentum and little prepared on the last two points, "love" and "life". i continued my plight through "love" and had to endure the onslaught of more random questions. my son asked about bassoons, my middle asked why quicksand was pretty slow, and my oldest asked why jumbo shrimp were still rather small. this wasnt looking good. i perked up for my last hurrah and decided to give it my all.
"kids. look i know you havent heard a single word ive said, but please just gimme 5 minutes to make my last point. okay?"
"sure dad." they all said in unison.
"okay. the last simple rule is...life?? wait hold on a sec..."
"not now kiera."
"but dad! to 'life' technically isnt a rule per se."
"well...i know. but its like its the sum of the previous 4."
"okay?? but whats the name of that thing?"
"its called 'the 5 simple rules' why?"
"well because you like gathered us here making us sit down and stuff saying something about 5 rules or whatever but you should have been saying 'i have 4 rules and their sum.' did you pay for that thing??"
"ahem...first of all, you are grounded. second of all, yes i paid for it. i got it out of the skymall. and third of all, sammy get your fingers out of your nose!"
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