Thanksgoating – Day Twenty Nine. Two rules
My daughter is fifteen today. She was in first grade a week ago and I blinked a few times and now she is in high school. I need a slower calendar. She is so completely incredible. I am in awe of her.
Today I am thankful for the opportunity to be a parent.
When my wife was pregnant, we got so much advice about raising a kid from every direction possible. But I had one friend with two small kids who gave the best advice of all. He said, “Every kid is different, you’ll figure it out.” And that couldn’t have been more true.
After all the advice and all the books had been read, my wife and I decided we were going to raise our kid with just two rules. We committed to each other that they would unbreakable rules. It wasn’t easy, but we made it.
RULE #1 – We would always have each other’s back no matter what.
A decision from either parent would be law once in place. We could have a discussion after the fact, but a decision was a decision when put in front of the kiddo. One day my wife was frazzled and put my daughter in time-out for something trivial. I came upstairs and saw my daughter sitting against the wall. I didn’t even know what had happened, but I told her she needed to listen to mom. This went back and forth occasionally but we never allowed a divide and conquer opportunity.
RULE #2 – We would never take the easy way out.
There were long days and tired days. Long, long dinners waiting for the kid to eat. But we held fast. I’m a huge geek but we never used tech as an easy out. My daughter just started high school and got her first phone a few weeks prior to starting. Mostly because of the 40 minute bus ride. I fought the good fight as long as possible.
My wife had one of the most brilliant parenting moves I’ve ever seen. My daughter was about three years old and sitting defiantly in front of a plate of green beans she didn’t want to eat. My wife and I sitting at the table, also defiantly. Then my wife says, “You know, you probably shouldn’t eat those beans…they may be jumping beans and they’d probably make daddy jump across the kitchen.”
My daughter picked up a bean, eyeballing me closely, and put it in her mouth… I jumped out of my seat and hopped towards the sink. Then another bean, and another. I bounced around the kitchen like a mad man. Then my daughter was like a shark at a feeding frenzy, stuffing green beans into her face as fast as possible, and me, jumping around the kitchen like my feet were on fire. With that one simple statement, my wife got my daughter to eat all her green beans and also got me to exercise. Mom of the year!
I really do love being a dad. From coaching to cooking with kiddo to playing chess to losing at Mario Cart. I’m thankful that even at 15 my daughter likes spending time with me. Love my wonderkid. She got all the good parts of me and none of the flaws.
I’d like to believe I’m at least getting a little bit of it right. Being a parent is pretty freaking great
T-Minus One – Control confirms booster ignition
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