Who knew the pressure of attending University would be harder the second time through?
At 6:21pm last night my daughter lost the backing to her very recently pierced earring in our garage. Our garage is pretty typical, which is to say it’s filthy, so the idea of finding it was a lost cause. This was sort of a big deal because the earrings they use for new piercings have to stay in for six weeks or else there are a host of nasty issues that you’re up against. These earrings also have a specific backing, so replacing it with one of my wife’s wasn’t possible. We scooted over to our local tattoo shop only to learn they don’t do piercings (despite Google’s promises). Shoppers Drug Mart was a long shot and our lone jewelry store was closed. As our daughter had to work the next day and tape or a band aid wasn’t a long-term solution, we were left with one option. Drive the 26km to the next town where the piercing was done. A further complication – it was 6:36pm, the shop closed at 7:00 and they weren’t answering their phone.
“Dad, should we make the drive?” my daughter asked.
I could have said, “NO. It’s too far. We might not make it by 7:00pm.”
Or, “NO. We don’t even know if they’re open.”
Or, “NO. I’ve got to make dinner and feed and walk the dog.”
Or, “NO. I’ve had a long day already and would rather relax on my sun-soaked front porch with a cold drink.”
Instead, I said MAYBE.
“MAYBE they’ll be open.”
“MAYBE we’ll get there before they shut.”
(And to myself): “MAYBE this is an opportunity to connect with my teenager whom I’ve seldom seen this week.”
We arrived at 6:56pm. They were still open. They had a replacement and we asked for another one, just in case. Disaster averted, hugs all round and feeling good about our effort, we decided to go out for dinner. Saying “MAYBE” was the best decision I made all week. For the entire car ride there and back, and during our outdoor meal, we talked. Like, really talked. About life, relationships, self-worth, values, happiness. Meaningful stuff. I listened. I shared my opinion. It was being a dad in all of its best moments.
Parenting is a full-time job and challenging obstacles pop up countless times in countless ways. It’s easy to say NO when things are busy, you’re tired or you have other items on your list to cross off. Sometimes saying NO is the right thing. At other times, if we can check that impulse and embrace the MAYBE, truly great things come from it.
In times like these I consider this less a bad haircut and more good parenting that emboldens independent thought and co-operative play.
Re-invigorating this game into our lives is proving good fun amongst teens and parents alike if more for the commentary than the actual card play.
To all the dad’s out there who, like mine, make themselves available to play, listen and love while providing a rock solid foundation for adventure and exploration – thank you. Happy Father’s Day.
Emotions are hard to talk about, perhaps even more so as a teen, so thank god for emojis.
Gillette’s new ad has sparked a lot of discussion and some controversy. Irrespective of whether or not this ad is good or bad, the most valuable part it’s played in our household is sparking conversation, and in a home filled with teenagers, that’s worth something.
Another bit of dinner time magic. I’m pretty sure he was saying this for effect but it’s always good to have a moment each day to touch in on family values, textbooks and lost and found…
We work so hard to make them confident and independent people and then they go and show that’s what they want to be and I immediately want to time travel back to when she used to hold out her arms and say “Up-y up-y” cause she really needed me. Classic.