I love my kids. I really do love them. But honestly, fatherhood was not and is not a natural thing for me. I never liked kids growing up. I am not a nurturer. To top it off, I love work. My wife tells me I am a good father but to be honest, I do not see it or feel it. If my wife is right, then it is definitely a learned behavior/skill. Today I will be sharing two stories that served as very powerful lessons that family matters. Family is important. Hope you enjoy.
If you have been following my blog, you know I have five kids (ages: 8, 7, 6, 4, 2). My wife and I noticed something about our kids. They are always in the same room together. All five in the living room. All five in the playroom. All five outside. They are inseparable. If one of them has a sleepover, the others will express that they miss that kid. It baffles me.
One time we went to Knott’s Berry Farm a couple of years ago. While walking around the theme park I stopped my wife and told her to watch the kids walking together. They are not more than six inches away from each other.
We realized that they understand something most adults just don’t get. Family matters. Being together is important. Don’t let me paint this picture with rose colored glasses. They fight. They fight all the time. However, it doesn’t affect their desire to inhabit one room at a time. Watching my kids play, they teach me that it is not about quality time versus quantity (which is what dumb parents will use to justify their absence).
Quantity is quality.
Last week was really, really hard for my wife and me. Ironically, ever since starting a blog about my family, the kids have been acting up.
Side Note: The next series is probably gonna be on topics like “how to deal with public tantrums” and “why is my kid acting crazy and fussy all of a sudden?”
Back to the story…on my day off last week I stayed home and all day it was whining, crying, fighting, and just plain old misbehaving. What made it hard was that it was everyone. (If you talk to my wife she would include me in that group). We decide to take the family out for dinner at Rubio’s because Mexican food solves all problems (for me at least).
While we were waiting for our food #2 and #3 start fighting. I calmly tell them to stop. They stop and then a few seconds later start up again. I was so fed up I told #2 to go to another table and sit by herself. I was angry.
BTW…this is not good parenting. I have a blog post entitled “PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SCHOOL OF DISCIPLINE” coming out soon that talks about this.
As you can imagine, #2 is incredibly sad. She has her arms folded on the table and her face down weeping. I don’t care. I am so mad I harshly tell #1 and #3 to come with me to go get drinks. While filling up seven cups of drinks…
Side Note: If you are eating at Rubios and want to purchase three drinks for the whole family to share, don’t SIT RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CASH REGISTER. This is why I am filling up seven!!!
…while filling up the legal amount of cups for our family, my son comes up to me and gingerly asks, “Hey daddy…if #2 agrees to behave can she please sit with us. I think she is really sad.”
As he is asking this, I see and realize that he is saddened that his sister wasn’t allowed to be at the same table even though he was the one fighting with her. Even though they couldn’t get along for more than ten seconds, he has the love for his sister to know that the punishment I assigned didn’t fit the crime. He had the love for her to know that being upset with his sibling wasn’t enough to be separated from her during a meal.
My heart melts, anger subsides, and I learned again a very important lesson from a six year old. Family matters. A family that stays together…is a family that stays together.