Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday. We didn't go to church. I went to a Good Friday service about 18 years ago and have never gone to another one since. It was the most depressing, soul wrenching experience of my life.

My dear wife maintains that it is a Cajun tradition to plant your garden on Good Friday. She says her grandmother told her that, and that her college roommate's Dad always planted his garden on Good Friday.

So in order to instill in my children some sense of their Cajun heritage we worked in the yard this afternoon. Well, some of us worked in the yard. Chaos and Noise only lasted about 15 minutes. Destruction and his Mommy raked up all the decorative bark on one side of the gazebo and planted purple iceplant in its place.

I moved everything from one side of the patio around the corner of the house. Two BBqs, a storage unit full of stuff, two propane burners, lots of miscellaneous cooking supplies and about 70 cement pavers. All this stuff is being located into the area of the backyard that will become the outdoor kitchen. The area under the new patio roof where it was located is going to be a ground level wooden deck.

I got the deck area cleared, measured and a basic list of materials put together. So tomorrow I get to make trip to the big boys toy store - Home Depot. Then it will be home and back to work.

Unfortunately I jumped all over an opportunity this afternoon to be a bad Daddy. Destruction, my dear wife and I spent about 6 hours working in the yard while Chaos and Noise sat in the house and played games or watched TV. Then just as we were finishing up for the afternoon the two of them wandered out and asked what they could do to help. Well it's not much of an excuse, but I was tired, dirty and thirsty and just wasn't in the mood to deal with two kids who wanted to relax all afternoon then show up at the end of the work, put in about 5 minutes of effort, and then spend the rest of the day complaining about how tired they were.

This is not the first time they have done this! So in a short curt manner I let both of them know that sitting in the house relaxing all afternoon while everyone else worked and then showing up the last 5 minutes and wanting to help was total BS.

They both stomped angrily back into the house and pouted for a while. Well I felt like a heel, but sooner or later they have to get the idea that when we say the family is working in the yard, we mean all the family. Not just the ones who aren't afraid of breaking a sweat, or getting a little dirty.

Sure their mother or I could have gone in and made them come out and work. But they already knew we wanted them out there. In cases like this we try to give the kids some leeway to make their own decisions. We tell them what we would like them to do. Then they have to decide if they want to do it or not. But they also have to learn the decisions they make might upset some people and that just being cute isn't going to get them by all the time. Sometimes people are going to be upset or dissapointed with the decisions they make. They need to learn that their decisions have consequences, and in this case the consequence was an angry Daddy.

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