You know you’ve made it when

When Parenting Works;

Our November Ho‘ohana

When I decided to have an open call for great parenting stories this month, a posting I had read by Steve Sherlock came immediately to mind for me.  I am so happy to share it with you here on Talking Story. Mahalo Steve!

I originally posted this on April 9, 2006 on Steve’s 2 Cents. My oldest daughter, Allison commented on this posting. Her comment is priceless. The combination of the posting and the comment, I think make for a good entry for this month’s parent theme.

My post:

You know you’ve made it when

you walk in to the study and your daughter (Carolyn) and her boy friend are collaborating on their high school psychology project and she says:

"Your timing is impeccable Dad. As usual, you picked the worst part of this to walk into."

And then, sure enough, right on queue, the talking (actually a DVD) of a current comedian playing in the background starts spouting such language as is not normally heard in our house.

It turns out that I had developed this habit sometime ago. I would come home from work and both daughters (Allison and Carolyn) would be queued in front of the TV passing in some time before dinner by watching re-runs of "Buffy – The Vampire Slayer". Of course, as I was standing there, taking my coat off, and checking in with them, the big fight scene would erupt.

I did eventually watch a show or two with them. The standard operation for this particular show was to have a build up to the one big fight scene. And the fight scene was usually a doozy. Bodies flying, punches that could kill, but the folks keep coming back for more. Totally unrealistic!

Disclaimer: Lest someone think that such shows were normal TV fare in the household, they actually were not. The girls had to complete their homework before watching any TV. The one exception being some "break" time between track/cross country practice and dinner. Realistically, there was usually not a lot of time to make it worth while getting into something. Although, there were times when the homework load was sufficient, and I give them credit, they did by-pass Buffy or whatever re-run was on to hit the books anyway and forego the break.

They also had a curfew. There was no TV on school nights after 9:00 PM. This eventually got waived once a week for a show that all three of my ladies were into. (Yes, my wife, Dolores followed this show as well.). The night varied as the show moved amongst the nights, one season on Sunday night, then to Wednesday, then to Thursday… I didn’t keep track of it except that if the show was on that night, I knew where my ladies were.

The waiver came into place by setting up a deal that if they got and stayed on the honor role, then we could make an exception. Well, the girls did make it regularly. They held their side of the bargain so it was an easy Win/Win situation.

Allison’s comment:

I cannot help but laugh heartily at this. You would walk into not only those fight scenes, but also even after we had just purchased A Knight’s Tale, you walked right in when a character was boldly walking down the street nude. It was the only nude scene in the whole movie and the movie was PG-13!

But aside from your bad timing…

Now living away from home, the TV is still never on unless the work is finished. It is a good habit to have. Apparently, according to my friends sometimes, they claim that I missed so many things. Like, having a crush on Zach Morris from "Saved By the Bell". Alternatively, watching Sabrina on TGIF. However, I usually ask them if they read, Able’s Island, Castle in the Attic, Shiloh, The Witches or had the Tolkien books read aloud to them by their Dad (complete with voices). I ask them if they know what its like to spend a day on a mountain. Climbing up, getting the most magnificent view. Realizing you still have to climb down, but knowing the hot dogs and laughter at the end will make it worth your while. I asked them if they knew how cool the state of South Dakota is and what a buffalo stampede is like. None of them can play Hi Low Jack, Doughnut, Cribbage or Milles Bornes.

It makes me wonder sometimes, who really missed out?

Steve Sherlock writes on a suite of personal blogs centered on Steve’s 2 Cents. He writes on running, on his passion for good customer experience, on his finds in the blogosphere, and his newest venture; his belief that commencement begins everyday. He does this blogging in his spare time as his two daughters are now in college (the full time job is surely needed to pay the bills). His wonderfully supportive wife teaches kindergarten. He starts with his 2 cents. You can ante up a comment or an email, and he’ll take it from there.