I got some heat on the home front for attending and working the Trump rally Wednesday.
Since there is no reason to ever talk politics around our young kids, I have no idea how Beckett formed his opinions of “Thump,” as he called him mistakenly this week. Apparently, some friends have been talking about him in school, specifically his views on immigration reform, and he picked up some unfavorable opinions along the way. It’s remarkable and disturbing to me that second graders are talking about this sort of thing, but that’s not the point here.
What I soon learned was his beef with me going to the event had much more to do with not being able to play soccer with him after school than it did the candidate’s views on the world.
Since I was at the rally, I wasn’t home for this, but Pam filled me in. She had the speech on one of the televisions and Trump’s repeated usage of the word “hell” seemed to be bothering Beckett, leading to questions of why Dad would be voting for a man who uses language that he would be punished for saying.
Pam then went about explaining how I was working and not supporting the guy, but he had moved on to something else before she could finish the thought.
Parenting is a humbling experience.
Fortunately, Pam and I laugh a lot through this journey and that’s the best medicine for anything, including the insanity that sometimes comes with raising our two young sons, ages 7 and 6.
Although I have plenty of poor character traits (my wife could probably fill you in on a few if you catch her at the right moment), I have always thought two of my virtues were patience and organization.
Without question, parenting has tested both and there are days now when I feel like the most impatient person on the planet as well as the most disorganized.
First up comes patience. I can take a lot of nonsense and keep on ticking without losing my cool. I try to bring a balanced and reasoned approach to just about everything in life. Most of the time I’m successful with it, but there are times when I get rattled and lose it.
Nothing gets under my skin more and sometimes causes me to do or say things out of character than when my children act in a way that’s inconsistent with the values we work so hard to try and instill in them. It makes me feel like a failure and leads to frustration because I get impatient over the bad behavior.
It’s one thing to have a slipup and a case of poor judgment, but it’s another thing altogether when it’s a repetitive misbehavior and involves signs of disrespect.
Both kids have been guilty of these sorts of things on several occasions. The low points are when they both have bad days. The good news is they are young boys and are works in progress (as am I). Accepting the fact you can’t be there all the time to steer them in the right direction and having to trust your kids will do the right thing has been a learning process for me.
I have learned over the years there is perhaps no greater test of patience, however, than coaching young kids. They just don’t listen. That’s what drives me crazy.
Last week during a soccer game I was trying to substitute out a few players because the three on the sidelines were driving me crazy with repeated requests, despite the fact they had just come off the field. At one point, I handed the most disgruntled my phone showing the timer of when we subbing next. As if I couldn’t hear the buzzing going off, he came over and put it in my face.
Not letting him know what I thought of that was a true test of patience, as was the sideline parent making it clear she was not happy that I wasn’t following her son’s demands in a timely fashion. Then came the reminder to myself to take some deep breaths before speaking.
On the disorganization front, that’s a fight we are losing at home. It’s actually a skunking and we are over it.
A few years ago, I remember getting a call from our life insurance provider informing us our policy had been revoked for lack of payment. I had apparently missed a few bills that were mailed to the house. I tried saying what everyone tries when in arrears — I never got the bill. Although that was true in part, it’s more likely the bill came and one of the kids did something with it. Months later, I found one of the bills being used as a bookmark in one of Carson’s books. When I asked him about it, he shrugged his shoulders and signed, “Beckett.” When I showed him his name in the book and reminded him it was one of his favorites and never leaves his room, he pointed to me and signed that I was crazy before running off to play hide and seek. It was actually just hide in this case.
That’s why every bill is now on automatic payment because I can’t trust I will see every piece of mail that is delivered to our residence.
Again we laugh because otherwise we might actually go crazy.