Johnny, our youngest kid, just turned 40, time sure has a way of sneaking up on you. First thing you know, it has as the bible says, “like a thief in the night” robbed you of what you hold so dear. Time. This morning I am thinking about the youngster, not the man, not the father or the devoted husband. We received an email this week that announced to us the arrival, or rather impending arrival, of another grand baby. This makes #4 for Johnny and his wife Lily. He always told us when he was younger he wanted to “have at least eight children” and it appears that he is now half-way there. So today’s post is not about Johnny the father, but rather, Johnny the kid.
Back in the day, when Johnny was a young lad, I used to work for the worst boss in the world, well he might not have been “the” worst boss in the world, but he was definitely in the top five. He used to adjust my attitude on a daily basis, and I have to admit, it worked. I would not only adopt the attitude, but I would bring it home with me. It often didn’t take a whole lot to have me chasin’ my own tail by four o’clock in the afternoon.
Working for this moron was not the high point of my day, too many days that I care to remember.
One particular day, I came home with a bad case of attitude and really found myself not to be good company to a man or a dog. Johnny who was just being a kid, doing what kid’s do, irritated the fizz out of me and I unloaded on the boy. I made it unmistakably clear that I wasn’t having any of it and he was not helping matters much by contributing to my discomfort with life in general.
In other words, I mounted the kid pretty bad.
The next day at work, I got to thinking about what it is that I did, what it is that I said, why it was, that I found myself so hopelessly wrong. So when I got home, I asked the boy, “You wanna go see a movie?” and he eyed me rather suspiciously and said, “What kind of movie?” and I said, “Uh I dunno, I am sure I can find something.”
We then loaded up and headed out to the theater to see a flick, leaving Mom at home. Just the two of us.
Unfortunately, the childrens fare was not all that good that particular day as I remember it, and we had to settle for something a little bit more mature and adult in nature. Afterwords, we went to the local Ice Cream eatery and we chowed down on a Banana Split with extra cherries, extra nuts, we basically shared “the works” the boy and I.
And we talked, I mean really talked.
We sat there in the booth and we laughed and in one of those rare moments, we shared a little of each other. I apologized to the boy and told him about life, how you had to contend with certain people in order to make a living and told him that what happened the day before was not his fault.
In detail, taking pains to make sure he knew what had transpired, I explained that it was MY fault, not his, that I was just having a rotten day and that he was just being a kid.
The boy in his gracious nature said, “Aw, don’t worry about it Dad, it is okay.”
On the way home, sitting next to me in the car, he looked up and he said, “Hey Dad?” and I said, “Yeah, what John?” He said, “I really liked that movie Dad, but it would have been a lot better if it didn’t have all that dumb sex in it, huh?”
Every now and then … You can learn a lot from a nine year old.
Start the week off on the right foot, when you come home today from the nine to five that has a tendency to “eat your lunch.” Stop, reach down and grab your kid, give ‘em a big hug and tell them you love them.
Kids need that in their lives … and you do too.