It’s cool to buy Valentine’s Day candy on clearance in March, and eat it in April. Did you know that?
And, according to Tamara of Tamara Like Camera fame, those Halloween socks are good to go, any time of year.
Get this: It’s also fine to give thanks now. Well, any time of year. Reading Gina from A 4 Star Life reminded me of that.
So I’m going to get in a little, before Easter.
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It takes me a while to get to all the blogs I love.
I just got to Gina’s Thanksgiving post. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays unbound by expiration dates. (I wouldn’t recommend saving your Independence Day cookout fare beyond July, for instance.)
Gina’s Thanksgiving post reminded me to be thankful for loved ones always willing to include me in their fun. And to think – I almost missed it. Because of this blog.
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One Sunday, I knew what to write for Monday’s post – but the pieces just weren’t coming together.
It felt I’d spent the entire weekend doing everything for everyone. So by Sunday afternoon, I just wanted to cue up the Pandora, plug in the headphones, grab a Coke Zero, and let it ride. I was all set, until …
“Do you want to help me, daddy?”
My reaction? Un-Coach Daddy-like. I.just.wanted.to.write.
You know, on my blog. About being a dad. I wanted my kid to leave me alone and let me write about being a dad.
The irony. I might as well get run over by a public safety van.
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Grace didn’t need “help” at all.
She had a vision. She’s the kid with two intricate but failed plans for mini hydro models made with recyclables. This time, she wanted to put water and food coloring in a spray bottle and make Cherrios look like Froot Loops.
She’d string the colored cereal on a wire to make wreath bird feeders.
Horrible child, right?
She could have done this on her own, for sure. She didn’t ask me because she was incapable of mixing the colors. She could execute the plan just fine by herself. But she thought maybe dad could use a break for something fun.
Talk about stress-busters.
I wrote a guest post last week for Sandy Ramsey on Mother of Imperfection. I suggested parents ask their kids to help them with stuff just for the chance to do something with them. My kid reminded me that it works both ways.
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Before I admit to my own pissy response, I want to express a hope that Grace’s heart is contagious. Or at least her perspective. For my sake.
There’s an enormous colony of a family new to the street. There are kids everywhere. Like, minion-like numbers. Like Ewoks. They’re underfoot and active and noisy and 7 years old-ish.
They swarm me as I wash my car or do anything outside. It brings out the George Wilson in me, unfortunately. It’s Dennis the Menace, times 20.
Grace, though, pulls them around in a wagon. Gives up her good scooter for them. Colors with sidewalk chalk with them, even when one writes “bich” on the street. (Wouldn’t it be cool if she edited it for him?)
Grace drew an enormous ice cream cone on the street, which they marveled over.
She found the one girl in the bunch crying, and spent the rest of the afternoon becoming her friend. Drawing. Picking flowers. They walked, hand in hand. Sometimes, Grace listened. Other times, they colored together in silence.
All Grace wanted to do that day was ride her bike.
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Things have a way of getting done.
Assignments. Blog posts. Even taxes.
The roads there curve, turn, sometimes reach dead ends.
The way you get there might not be anywhere close to the way you imagined.
Grace’s cereal-coloring idea? A smashing success. And it took an entire 20 minutes out of my day to conspire with her. I could have missed it.
It’s a good thing the good things keep. You know, like Thanksgiving posts. Halloween candy. And small hearts with big potential. To love, and to teach.
For that, I’m grateful.