Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fatherly Advice to My Middle Child

There are times in a dad's life that he truly has to be a father.  He has to put away the Guitar Heroes, PS3s, golf clubs, gym memberships, internets (yes, I know), cars, food and even the NFL Sunday Ticket (that last one might have been a bit too far but you get my point).  He has to stand up and learn to balance the dichotomy of being so small and inconsequential in some universes and being the most important entity this side of GOD in others.  He has to get rid of the biases and prejudices that have formed (and sometimes clouded ) his believe structure in order to teach one of his own the truth as it as and not necessarily how he sees it.

I feel that day has come in our home.  It's one of those days that one finds it hard to distinguish between fear and excitement.  The two emotions blending together like words on a page at 3:00AM.  I would imagine it would be the same feeling when one of my daughters is getting married or having a baby for the first time.  I find it difficult to accurately describe the feeling to someone who has never been in this situation.  But if you have been in this situation you will always remember it.

I realize the my middle child is not quite 4 yet but my message to her is no less important than if were talking to my wife about our finances or our childrens' futures.  I must find the right angle of approach so as to not lose my words in the sea of Dora and Spongebob that might be swimming in her head.  I must let her know that this is timeless advice and should be treated as the 11th Commandment.

To my middle child:  I love you.  I hope and pray for your happiness for years to come.  That's why I'm giving you this advice....  If you don't stop stepping on your little sister, she is going to BEAT you to a pulp in another year.  Yeah, you're bigger now but you have a 3-year head start and she is already 2/3 your weight.  She will outweigh you in another year and I fear for your safety.  You might not think that she will, but she WILL remember everything.  One day she is going to wake up and decide that enough is enough and you will be in some kind of trouble.  As a matter of fact, I'm convinced that the only thing saving you when we go to bed at night is the fact that she is in a crib.  But I'm here to tell you, she won't be in a crib for much longer.  The bars are set to come off soon.  And, at that point, the only things standing between you and a late night beating are 2 bedroom doors and about 25ft of carpet.

Remember this IS a warning.  You still have time to change your ways.  You might be ok if you STOP stepping on her feet every time you get the chance.  She MIGHT not remember ALL of the times you pulled her legs as she is trying to crawl to her favorite toys.  She just might decide to forgive all of the times you sat on her and tried to ride her like a pony (not making any promises on that one).  I hope she doesn't remember all of the times you walked by her and knocked her down just because you felt like it.  I will try to make sure she doesn't hold any resentment for all of the times you wouldn't let her play with any of your toys (or her own toys for that matter).  That's the least I can do.  I'm your father and I love you both.

So I will leave you with this parting thought: If you don't straighten up and fly right when it comes to your younger sibling, there won't be enough timeouts in the world to save you from the revenge of a BIGGER little sister.