My friend and I were having a casual conversation recently. She’s a brand new Mom. We talked about how we don’t understand people who don’t treat their children as a 1st priority. People who care more about their own needs than their childrens needs. People who would rather take the road that’s easier for themselves even at the expense of their children. We traded stories about how fortunate we feel to have husbands who are active and involved in our childrens lives. Husbands who may not have always had the easiest or happiest of childhoods themselves and (maybe despite that or maybe because of that), they want to provide the very best and happiest lives for their own children. Husbands who don’t think it’s the womans job to change diapers or make bottles or get up in the middle of the night to tend to a crying newborn. Husbands who may not have known what it’s like to have a father take them to the park or give them piggy back rides or help them with homework but yet they are stepping up in the most amazing way to be all that and more for their (our) children.
I told her a story about last weekend when CC was kind of in a mood. He was none too happy with Ace and had told Ace that he would be in punishment all weekend. CC was none too happy with me either when I promised to take the kids to see The Lorax movie on Sunday. Oops, I didn’t realize he was serious about punishing the boy ALL WEEKEND.
Most of you know that Ace is having a hard time controlling his behaviour at school. If you didn’t know before, well, now you do. He’s been having a particularly tough March and has only come home with 2 happy face reports since the month started.
OK, back to the story. So, at 1 point last weekend, CC was about to take out the garbage and Ace stopped him and asked that he pretend to be a bad guy so that he (Ace) can be a hero. At 1st CC said no because he had things to do (and Ace was in punishment). I was sitting on the couch reading. I didn’t say anything but I began to smirk. I knew. I knew he would break. I knew his son would do him in. I know that no matter how hard CC tries to be tough on them, his sons melt him through and through.
Ace asked again, “Please Daddy. Can you play with me? Be a bad guy.”
The next thing I know, I’m surrounded by squeals of laughter as CC and Ace begin “fighting” in the living room. It’s not long before Jay – hearing the excitement – comes and joins them. (He was a good guy too). There was tickling and running and punching and blocking and coming back from the “dead”. They were on the couch and on the floor and “heros” were being flipped and “monsters” were being pummeled.
It was all so spontaneous. So un-contrived. We hadn’t planned a fun activity for the kids. They were just playing with their Daddy … and it was beautiful.
CC with all his macho-man-ness and his school-of-hard-knocks ways was no match for his 5 year old son wanting to play with him. Just as the alien monster was no match for 2 pajama clad little heros.
When I re-told the story, my eyes teared up and I literally had to blink away the tears. It hit me like a cannon ball that we may not have all the extra things that people like to have but sweet Jesus, we have so much more than we could ever pray for.
I wouldn’t trade my 3 guys for anything.
Because it’s these things that my sons will look back on and remember fondly.
It’s not about the big trips to the Caribbean or i-Pads or the latest pair of Jordans or going out to fancier places than IHOP :-). They won’t care that we didn’t take ski vacations to Aspen in the winter. They will remember that we always had a happy home. Even when the kids don’t behave in the way we would like them to. Or even if we are tired and have other things going on. Even through disappointments and let downs. Even if they get punished. At the end of the day, they will know that to their parents, it really is all about making each of them feel safe, wanted, appreciated, valued and loved.
Looking back on that Saturday afternoon, I remember feeling a complete sense of calm as I sat on the couch reading my book with the laughter and the yelling as my soundtrack and 2 bags of garbage on the floor. I remember feeling like “Yes! I love my life”