Happy New Year!
We enjoyed New Years Eve at the P’s house with all nine of our combined children. We ate delicious pizza and crab dip, and French silk pie, and watched Saving Christmas and Elf, and played a very exciting game of bingo. We didn’t plan to stay late, but everyone was having a nice time and before we knew it the time for the ball was close and so we stuck it out. Even Baby Cakes stayed up to watch the Rocking New Years Eve with Dick Clark and the amazing light bulb ball drop. While I was ever so grateful for my bed, neither Baby nor I slept well once we were in it. I guess we were over tired.
Around one (or two or three? Who knows!)? I watched a program on the History channel about the legislation of 1914, which made drugs illegal and created a whole host of new issues, including financial. Most agreed that if the lawmakers had foreseen the future of the “war on drugs” the legislation would never have passed. There was some footage of DEA agents arresting people and all I could think of was a misguided parent getting into a power struggle with a small child with no graceful way out. The child is NOT going to win, regardless of who gets hurt.
Last summer I was visiting X’s home. We were setting up the volleyball court while the dog gleefully played with one of the balls. At some point X realized that the ball was being destroyed in the process, so he stopped the dog, and began yelling at his son for allowing the dog to play with the ball. How it was any more the child’s fault then X’s or mine I didn’t understand. The child said, “Dad, it’s okay, it’s just a ball.”
“It isn’t just a ball, it belong to work. Now I have to go out and but them a new ball.”
“Dad, it’s okay.”
“How about if you pay for it, is it still okay?”
“(YOU ARE YELLING AT ME IN FRONT OF EVERYONE AND I AM EMBARRESSED AND MY FEELINGS ARE HURT AND IT IS JUST A F*%$ING BALL!) Dad, It’s just a ball. It’s okay.”
I said nothing. Why didn’t I agree with the child that yup, just a ball. X was very angry and I felt that saying anything would only escalate the situation, so I said nothing. I wish I said something.
Sometimes I am jealous of X’s very large house and pool and hot tub and playset and fancy vacations, and even the relationships that X has with Y and Z, but I have one thing that they don’t. I understand that it is just a ball, and my child’s feelings are worth way more than a ball.