In the ongoing saga of the broken arm, I returned to the hospital early Thursday morning with Kermit in tow but I forgot the damn crocs. I was redeemed by the gift shop and a three pack of multi-colored walking socks that every doped up seven year old would adore.
We returned home to an afternoon of movies, pizza, chips, chocolate, and not a leafy green in sight. It was a three hour tour to crap food town, but with my wife as the Captain we returned to the world of fruits and vegetables by nightfall. It was a perfect day and just before we tucked Julia into bed, she whispered…
“I am going to school tomorrow.”
I had no intention of sending her to school on Friday. My wife told me she was adamant about going to school and maybe we should consider a half day. I disagreed and thought for her own good she should rest one more day. Besides what kid doesn’t want to lie around all day Friday, watch cartoons, and ride the wave of salty and sweet goodness.
As I rose from my slumber early Friday morning, I sensed a great disturbance in the Force. I heard screaming coming from my daughter’s room.
“I am going to f***ing school! YOU will not keep me from f***ing school!
I ran to Julia’s room and instantly regretted my decision. She turned her Vader-like gaze toward me and I was frozen by the clutching embrace of the Dark Side. I expected to start choking and fall to the ground, but luckily I was with my wife and much like the former Admiral Ozzel she was in charge and would be the first to go.
Now I was scared. Admiral or no Admiral.
“If you don’t let me go to school, I will call the f***ing cops and you will go to jail!”
Some people have near death experiences and their lives flash before their eyes. I had a near parenting experience and all the times I gave in to my kids flashed before my eyes.
“We can go to the zoo, but you have to tell mom we were at church.”
“Popcorn is a vegetable, but just tell mom you ate vegetables.”
“If you stop crying, I’ll let you drive home if you promise to take side streets.”
Was I going to give in to my daughter’s wild demands to read stories, solve math problems, and visit with her friends? Would I force Tom & Jerry down her throat and make her have her cake and eat it too? Was I going to stick to my guns and worried that I was unarmed if I didn’t make the right decision?
The girl went to school and had a wonderful day. She was right, I was wrong, and I can easily live with that. But did I do the right thing? Was this the failed Ben Kenobi training moment in the instruction of young Anakin Skywalker?
After dinner yesterday and before storytime, my daughter said to my wife and I…
“You and mommy are a lot like Jesus except for the swearing.”
The acorn does not fall far from the tree.