Monday, June 19, 2006

I Must Be Clueless

Yesterday was Father's Day, and I am a father. So do me a favor, and don't throw any more days for me, OK?

The day got off to a roaring start, when one of the older girls (I'll decline to say which one) decided that she was receiving insufficient attention for her recent birthday, and threw a major snit that Father's Day would take precedence over presents and birthday cake for her. Nice. Actually, it was embarrassing; I mean, we're talking about someone in her 20s, know what I mean?

Then one of the teenagers decided that the little kids were getting too much attention at his expense, so he spent most of the afternoon picking fights with them and engaging in attention-getting behavior, which included setting off firecrackers in the living room.

On top of it all, Molly was short on sleep from the night before, so she wasn't dealing with the chaos as, uh, constructively as she might have.

Plus, it rained all day, so the nice family walk in the arboretum that we had planned, never happened. That might have actually been merciful, considering how the day went.

And it all came to a fitting conclusion, with one of the younger ones screaming from his bed, "I HATE this family!"

So I went to bed last night kind of shell-shocked, wondering how the day might have gone if they weren't trying to honor me in a special way.

At least the Tigers won.

I must just be the world's most clueless father, because I really try to do right by my kids - to "train them up in the way they should go", to love them, to prepare them for their own adult lives, and, as best I can, point them in the direction of heaven - and what I have to show for it are a distressing number of incidences of my kids acting like self-absorbed jerks. Of course, they are only too happy to point that out to me. (That has always seemed to me an odd insult - "You're such a bad father; just look what jerks we are!")

I love my kids, I really do. I love being a father, and I take it as seriously as I know how to. But I mean, obviously, I must be doing something wrong here. . .

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