Monday, June 05, 2006

Honor and Nail Polish....

The last few months have been quite hectic.....with all of my TDY, and my rapidly approaching deployment, my wife and I have had precious little time for ourselves. With her being in school full time as well as working, it seems as if we never get to do something just with one another. Even when I am not at Uncle Sam's beck and call, we have three children, two of which are actively engaged in sports. Generally, I don't have time to take my uniform off after I get off work because of endless errands, practices, games, and just about anything else that the typical married father of three goes through.

About two weeks ago I had traffic school. It just happened that the night that I went happened to be one of the most beautiful days of the year. My class was from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. As I sulked through my 45 minutes of downtime before I needed to depart for class, I heard my wife talking to my oldest son. It turns out that he said he needed to go to an awards banquet at school. Now, my son is all that a father could want, a great student, well-mannered, and a superior athlete, but even more than that, Devon is a social butterfly. More than once, devon had finagled his way into an outing. (at our expense) just so he could hang out with buddies. I heard my wife telling him that she had a huge test to study for, (which she did), and was he sure that he was supposed to go. (We had not heard any word of this.) He answered with, "I think so.".

Immediately my B.S. detector went off and I started grilling him. I wanted to know what kind of banquet, what awards, and what time. All he knew was 7:30. Renee sighed and said, "Okay, get your stuff together." I will preface this with the fact that I was tired, and upset about having to waste a perfectly good evening in traffic school, but I do wish I could take my actions back.

I told Devon that his mother was going to take him, but I reminded him of all of the things that we had done recently in regard to sports, and other things, and that we needed some time to take care of things. I told him to "tell me the truth" if he was really getting honored, or if he just wanted to go. At this point Dev stated that it wasn't a big deal. By this time my B.S. detector was going haywire thinking about the past attempts at just going somewhere to socialize. So I let him know in no uncertain terms that if this was the case, and he got no awards then he was going to be in trouble.

Later. After I got back from traffic school, and the kids were in bed I jumped into the shower and snuggled into bed next to Renee. She was still awake, and I said, "So, did he get an award, or was he just going to hang out with his buddies?"

She said, "He got three awards."


The next morning before I drove him and his brother to school I apologized for not believing him. I told him I was proud of him, and I told him that I was wrong to not have had complete faith in him. He just smiled and said, "That's okay." I learned a valuable lesson from that 12 year old.


My wife went shoe shopping this weekend with a couple of her girlfriends to some outlet mall. I just did a few things around the house like cutting grass, and a little straightening up. The kids were playing outside for the longest time, and I put together a simple little dinner. Later I went upstairs to the rec room and got on the computer, I surfed the web, watched some TV, and played some X-Box. When I came downstairs, Devon and Robbie were eating and watching the NBA Playoffs. I said, "Where's Alexandra". Robbie said, "I think outside."


I said, "Oh God!" I went outside and called for her and called for her, but she was not in the front or the back. I hustled inside and told the boys. "I'm going to look for Alex...she's gone." I dashed into the bedroom to grab my keys and wallet, and there sat Alex on our bed. She had spread a towel out and was sitting there painting her toenails and fingernails. I was, of course, relieved she was inside. But I noticed a huge pool of fingernail polish that was spilled on our new comforter....our new, "expensive" comforter. I started in to her about how she was not supposed to be into Mommy's things, and she had been told and blah, blah, blah. She kept on trying to say something, but I kept right on talking. Finally her three-year-old eyes began to brim with tears and she said, "I just wanted to be beautiful like Mommy." I stopped for a moment and said, "Hunny bunny you are beautiful." I gave her a hug and a kiss, wiped her tears and began removing the nail polish.(which by the way, covered a good deal of her fingers and toes along with the nails.) Then, Daddy did his best job of putting on a good coat of polish on her fingernails and toenails. After I finished and they were dry, she said, "I'm pretty!"

Note to self, "STFU and listen to your kids no matter what".

1 comment:

AFSister said...

DKel... I really like this post. My boys drive me crazy, but sometimes it pays to just STFU, sit back, listen, and remember what it's like to be a young child.