Monday, May 25, 2015

Bad parenting

Dinner with friends

“Where are we going?”

“What time?”

“You’re allergic to seafood?  I didn’t know that”

“Okay, let’s do the seafood place; they also have chicken and steak”

And off we go

With the early half of us waiting in the bar for the late half to arrive

So we can get a table and

Settle in

To talk about work and home improvements and finally


The conversation always seems to turn to kids

“How are they?”

“What are they doing this summer?”

And then one woman speaks up

And says—not joking

“Okay, tell about a time when you were a bad parent”

And we look at each other and someone goes

“Well that’s easy”

And the stories begin to flow …

I was with my son in a food court—not really paying attention—when I noticed one of the tines had broken off his plastic fork.  He’d swallowed it

I pushed my daughter’s swing too hard and off to one side, and she hit the support post of the swing set

A good number of tales—cringe-worthy; more than you might expect

We laugh; it’s easy to laugh about these things now

They happened so long ago

But with each story, there’s a trace of guilt; you can see it

Feel it

There’s clear evidence we’ve been bad parents …

And then after dinner

Standing off in the corner with another dad

He looks at me and says, “You know, I’ve got a lot of bad-parent stories, but I’ve also got a lot of good ones”

I smile and say, “Me too”

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