I was running the rough math in my head. They have been subjected to over 100,000 “course corrections” during their lifetimes.
Wash your hands. Tie your laces. Look people in the eye. Use a firm handshake. Wipe your face. Keep your voice down. Sit up. Comb your hair. Brush your teeth. Pick up your things. Put on clean clothes. Don’t yell. Get along with your Brother. Get along with your Sister. Say please. Say thank you. Say you are sorry. ENOUGH TV. Read. Get to sleep. Go to the bathroom before we leave the house. Enough candy. Do your homework. Plus 1000 others. And, certainly not all of them delivered with finesse or a light touch. When you are molding a sculpture, some rough chops are necessary. And per the King’s rules, as long as the game is played within the fences and by the house rules, all is good.
In the early days, dinner out entertainment included “I Spy.” Coloring books and crayons. Stacking cream containers to see who could make the largest tower. And, guessing how many sugar packets there were in my hand. Our kids would not create havoc for other patrons.
Fast forward 18 years and we’re sitting at dinner last night. Not unlike one of hundreds of Saturday dinners out with our family since they were toddlers. And a mere few days before the nest empties for the first time.
As we were leaving the restaurant, Susan told me that the Gentleman serving us said: “You can imagine that we see all kinds here. I just wanted to tell you that your children are respectful. They say please and thank you. They are so kind.”
100,000 course corrections. Day after day after day. Some of them must have hit the mark.
I dropped my head and turned away. Men don’t cry.
Photo Source: Eric Kanigan