Anyone who’s ever read one of my post can tell you that I’m no expert on parenting. Not even close. I don’t claim to be better than other parents out there, nor—as my wife could attest—do I have superior judgment skills. But where I come up short I hope to make up for with my efforts.
I will always make an effort.
We’ve recently gotten a membership to a local children’s museum. And it’s there that I’ve had a chance to witness all sorts of parenting first hand. And yes I watch. I watch a lot.
Sometimes it’s funny what you see. And sometimes it’s a little sad.
People, we’re at a children’s museum, not a bar or a club or even at the mall. There is absolutely no reason to act cool and aloof, you’re kid doesn’t get it.
Guys, parks and playgrounds are a free excuse to climb, slide, jump, giggle, and have at it. Nobody cares. And besides me, I doubt anyone is looking. So go ahead and stop strutting. It must get old anyway, that I’m too cool for the world stroll. It’s exhausting just to watch.
|Hey, at least he's trying...|
Moms. I get it if you’re bored or frustrated. You’re probably tired of waiting on that slowpoke husband of yours. But how about pretending that you’re having an, at least okay time. Just for a bit, right?
It’s incredible how many parents bring their children to a place to have fun then look like they’re waiting to get drilled in the mouth at the dentist office. And sure maybe I caught some of these people in a bad moment. Maybe that important phone call/text just happened to be a family crisis. In that case I’m completely in the wrong. But to the rest of you, go get dirty.
Maybe I just have unrealistic expectations. My dad made some of his own really bad parenting decisions—many But you know what, he was there, right by my side. (Well, sometimes far ahead of me and yelling back over his shoulder for me to get moving because the park ranger was chasing us for riding mini-bikes in the park). But when it came to effort, he gave it his all.
He always had time for me, whether we were in a flimsy raft in a flooded creek or lighting probably-aren’t-legal fireworks purchased from a guy in a van known only as “Roach” at the flea market. We were always together. And to me that’s more important than being perfect, in fact the mistakes are most of the fun.
And that’s what I want to give my kid. No, not fireworks, but the effort. I don’t know how many times I’ve turned my back for a second and he’s slipped. But I’m not going to lose a how-hard-are-you-trying? Contest, because I’m trying hard, and if I look like a goof in the process then so be it.