Monday, September 20, 2010

Ducks In A Row

I've got a friend of mine who has 4 girls.  And, I hate him.
Okay, well, maybe I don't HATE him.  Lets rewind a couple of years...

See my buddy Dom has these adorable beautiful daughters.
Each and every Sunday morning, we would arrive at church around the same time, and make our way though the throngs of people to our respective Sunday School classes.
As his daughters and our boys are about the same ages, the startling contrast between boys and girls was... well.. startling.

We would hit the foyer together.  There, is Dom.  With his 2 (or maybe 3 daughters at the time) daughters following behind him, glowing in their beauty.  Their hair was done up in bows.  Their dresses were pressed and tidy.  Their flowing dark hair shimmered in the sunlight and their faces seemed to glow as they looked lovingly upon their father who lead them while their voices rang out like song birds professing their love and adoration for their father.  Yes, like a mother duck with her little ducklings trailing behind in a row (except, that instead of a duck, its a big Italian guy), they followed him though the sea of people, steadfastly as little women, not as children.

Then, I would come in.  With our two boys in tow.  Their hair, disheveled.  Their clothes, discombobulated.  Instead of following behind like good little ducklings, they tended to hang off my various body parts, like my leg... arm... or head.  Their voices seemed to echo the madness of a want-to-be World Dictator who just watched their Masterful Evil Plan come crumbling down because of some unforeseen obvious flaw in their thinking, and a bumbling buffoon of a hero saves the girl.  Yes, with kicking and screaming and gnashing of teeth, I dragged, pushed, pulled, cattle prodded our beloved boys into the Sunday School class room.

I should have seen it starting when they were young

The whole time, I could see Dom glancing over his shoulder, and a look of sympathy and dismay would wash over his face as I'm sure the thought "Poor guy... stuck with boys" raced though his mind.

Something about swords, and masks... never a good sign.
Week after week this went on.
Month after month.

One father with his children, the picture of perfection.  Pure joy and rapture followed them where ever they went.
The other father, a whirling tornado of chaos and destruction.

One week, after getting all the children settled, I looked at Dom and he looked at me.  And with what ever strength i had left, through my tired blood shot eyes, disheveled hair, bite marks and torn and ragged clothes, I said "You just wait.  You may be laughing now.  But one day, ONE day, when all your 4 girls are teen-agers, YOU will be the Father who is falling apart while you wait up until 2 am for your daughters to come home... Because you KNOW, you KNOW they will be out with boys like mine!  And at that time, I will be sleeping soundly, and come Sunday morning, you sir, will walk in looking like I do now, and I will rest!"

I think sometimes, parenting is like that.  Some of the grief we are going though now with Ping is only laying the foundation for what will be coming in the teen years.  A foundation of understanding, communication and trust.  Maybe it would be easier for us now if Ping did everything we asked the 1st time, without issue, and without hesitation.  But then I think we would be caught un-prepared for when the teen years struck.

Its only a paintball gun... but its the emotional scarring that hurts.
Yes'ir, I'll take the arguments and fighting up front now, while they are young and easy to understand if that means when they are older, I will be better prepared for what is going to come my way.

PS:  I had to look really hard to find pictures of our boys being bad... cuz they really are not.  Maybe higher energy when they were younger compared to Doms daughters, but in no way bad.  Nor did they mind going to Sunday School.  They love it!  Especially since they get candy each week!  :-)

1 comment:

  1. Ah...spoken like a true dad!! :) Boys have their sweet a mom of two bio and now another little guy on the way from China and girls have their sweet moments a mom to one bio and one adopted from China. Each one...sweet, tempermental at times, loving, busy, and I'm sure a few more adjectives in there as well! HA! We take each moment, each point in time and love them to the depths of our hearts and pray we get through the tough times at whatever age that happens for each child. And then look back and say Thank You Lord for your grace to see us all through it. :)