As great of a responsibility I have, as a parent, to teach my children the lessons they will need to grow up to be non-felons, it has become apparent that an unexpected bonus of this parenting gig is how much Swee’Pea and TheMonk have taught me.
Those who know me will tell you that I’m a bit scatter-brained. I’m often thinking a few steps ahead of what is happening right now and I often lack the patience to be “in the moment.” At the start of each work day, for example, I’m already thinking about what I have to do that day, who I have to call, what new initiative I want to spring on my unsuspecting staff, what I’ll have for lunch that day, whether the Snicker’s bar in the staff fridge will still be there that afternoon, and how will the Village People survive now that the YMCA has chosen to be known, simply, as “The Y?”
These are serious considerations and since it is my job to ensure the kids get off to preschool (which is rapidly winding down, but that’s another blog post), I am often challenged to get my day started by two five-year-olds who insist on making farting jokes instead of getting their shoes on. Inevitably, I’m herding two little ones into a car while trying not to spill my morning cup of coffee all over my non-iron shirt that was recently sprayed liberally with wrinkle releaser.
By the time I park the car curbside at their preschool, I’m already counting the minutes wasted and how I just KNOW that the Snickers bar is a goner. As I try and usher the kids out of the car along with lunch boxes, sweatshirts, and napping blankets, I rush towards the front door only to find Swee’Pea stopping every few seconds to pick a yellow dandelion flower which she calls, “Dandy flowers.”
“C’mon, Swee’Pea! We’re late, Honey. Please hurry!” I implore.
She hears me but she’s not really listening to me. (Something that seems to run in the female side of our family, I’m afraid.) Again, I beg, “Swee’Pea! Daddy needs to get to work! Please, Sweetie, hurry up!”
Swee’Pea might hurry for a brief second or two – long enough to give me hope that she’s finally decided to get in gear but, inevitably, she stops to pick yet another flower.
And as we finally get closer to the door, I might beseech one last time, and she’ll finally listen and scamper her skinny little legs over to me while I hold the door open for her. She and her brother enter and as we put their things in their cubbies and get ready to join their friends on the playground, I bend over to give hugs and kisses.
As I receive my hugs and kisses, Swee’Pea thrusts her tiny bouquet of yellow Dandy Flowers in my face and says, “Here Daddy. I picked these for you to take to work.” I take the flowers gently in my own hand and as I say my goodbyes and wander down the hall towards my car waiting outside, suddenly the world doesn’t seem so crazy and it slows down enough around me to allow me to grasp what’s really important. And I clutch the rapidly wilting flowers in my fingers and try and remember that before long, picking flowers for Daddy won’t be as high on her priority list.
So I stop and smell the Dandy Flowers. I’ve never smelled something so sweet. Even that Snicker’s bar in the fridge.