There comes a point in time where a person who grew up thinking they were smarter than his or her parents realizes that they were wrong. The point in question arrives for some of us when we decide to have kids and realize first hand just how much kids like to think they are getting over on us. Yes, folks, today is the day I realize I was wrong. Come to think of it, my parents were pretty darn smart as I was growing up.
My daughter came home one of her activities, and told me that Mommy had told her that she had to choose between one of two after school clubs to join. I told her to sit down and write down the pros and cons of each and come up with the answer as to which one to pick. And then came the drama…
‘But Dad, I just can’t think of possibly being without my friends I have in the first club, and I don’t know anyone in the second club, but I like the activity. Oh, what am I going to do?’ I, like my parents, quickly came to the realization that she wanted me to say she could do both and I’d have to face Mom Vader as it would defy her statement that our daughter could only choose one. Now, I’ve faced some demons before, heck, as a Redskin fan, I deal with misery on a yearly basis, but the force is not strong in my family and I simply cannot face Vader alone. But then again, my parents faced similar situations before when I was growing up.
So there I was on the cusp of disaster, knowing that if I gave in to what my daughter wanted, well, that would be the end of me. They’d be scraping bits of me off the driveway, off the roof and even out of the sewer (because nothing is worse than having a sewer clogged with Alan bits). So I took my father’s approach, which was to say anything, oh yes, anything, to avoid making a concrete call. And I remembered my father’s “Hail Mary” play that I didn’t recognize when it was used on me. I told my daughter to ‘sleep on it’ to give her a chance to fully think about and realize the ramifications of each choice.
Rubbish? Oh yes, absolutely. But it works to give the parent an escape hatch and baby, I used it!
Thank, Mom and Dad…I guess you knew what you were doing after all!