Thursday, April 12, 2012
My favorite parenting moment to date
Tuesday night our pool was finally open and ready to swim. The only problem? The water is freezing and air is not all that warm either. Does that matter to little boys? Absolutely not. So, when I got home from work on Tuesday all the boys were in bathing suits ready to jump into the icy water.
As they all began swimming, I noticed a sheet of paper had blown off the table and had settled on the bottom of the pool. Since the boys were in the pool anyway, I asked one of the older ones (Colin or Liam) to please go down and get it. It was in about 3 feet of water - no big deal . . . or so I thought.
For whatever reason, they freaked out. Even though they were already in the water, they refused to get the paper. I could not then, nor can I now, understand why. Bottom line, they just threw a huge fit about getting the paper. That was a problem. But the bigger problem was that I did too. Their behavior mad me so angry, that I sat outside with them for nearly an hour ramping up their punishments til they would finally go get the paper off the bottom of the pool, as they cried and pleaded with me to stop. In my mind, I was teaching them an important principle of authority and responsibility. In reality, I was treating my first-born sons (twins) worse than I would treat any stranger.
They finally figured how to get it out with the pool net and I sent them to bed worn out from their trauma each grounded for three days. As Sara and I reflected on it, we both agreed that the person who acted the least mature of all was me. We decided that I would go to the boys and apologize, ask for forgiveness, lift their punishment and then let them devise a punishment for me. They absolutely loved it. They also came up with a creative punishment only 8-year-olds could think of.
So, last night, after returning from Vison Night at church, I dressed in one of Sara's old bathing suits (Colin told me I looked like a cave-man - chest hair sticking out from the top of the suit :). When the boys counted to three, I jumped into the icy pool (and it was like 60 degrees outside) while the twins shot me with cold water from the hose.
That water was colder than I had imagined. It felt very similar to the one time I polar bear plunged into an outdoor pool in January. But, at the end of the night, I was freezing and my sons were delighted with their dad. We sat together and watched a movie and I gave them kisses as we went to bed. I don't think I've ever felt closer to my two oldest boys.
I believe I'm entering a season of my life where things will be lighter and much more fun. What better way to start! I am such a blessed man and love my family so much.
*Sorry, there are no pictures available :)