Today, I will be writing about the mediocre job I did as a parent this past weekend. And why it might be okay, even though I still feel bad.
We've had lots of parties and happy occasions there. We even spent some time living there this past summer while we had moved out of our house in NY and were waiting to move into our house in Chicago.
|It should have been me standing over my son in the cold.|
All the way up to the farm, we were looking at dwindling amounts of snow, and patchy grass sticking through the snow, and trying to prepare the boy for the possibility that Pengy (his newly bought, never used plastic sledding device in the shape of a penguin) might not be able to get used. But when we got there, there was plenty of snow. And the weather was beautiful!
The cousins were already there, and as soon as we got there, my son suited up and ran to the hill, and proceeded to go up and down that hill about 50 times over the next 5 hours. Plus build snow forts, have a snowball fight, learning to snowboard, getting cold, coming in for chocolate, etc.
Here's where I failed as a parent. I didn't go out there once. I had 100 excuses-- I didn't bring snow pants, I'm too heavy for the sled, I'd get all wet, I wasn't feeling up for it, I didn't want to. Ultimately it came down to the last one. Yes, I felt like I should have gone out there. But I didn't want to go out there. I liked it inside, where it was warm and cosy and I was reading and playing a video game. I liked pretending my time was my own, and I could do whatever I wanted with it. I didn't want to leave my comfortable area and get dirty and cold and sweaty and.... whatever. It was an excuse.
Here's where I was a good dad: That night, he had worked so hard that he started having leg cramps. He was supposed to sleep on the floor with the cousins, but it hurt so much, and he was in such pain that I put him into our bed, and I rubbed his legs, and held him and told him stories until he was able to fall asleep.
Back to being a bad dad: The next day came, and some more cousins came over, and the kids went sledding again, and I should have gone out there. But somehow I managed to avoid it. No bells went off. No "bad parenting" alerts occurred, except the one inside my brain, the one that said, "Hey go out there!" But I ignored it.
I'm pretty sure it would have been fine. I just didn't force myself to do it.
Here's the part where it's okay. My son had a wonderful time without me. He was playing with his cousins, having a great time, and he didn't need me there. He didn't miss me out there. But it would have been fun to share that with him.
Here he is in a slo-mo snowboard wipeout. One that I missed: (video courtesy of a cousin!)
Today, the next day, I am regretting not going, and sharing this fun time with him, even if it wasn't particularly what I wanted to do.
And the next time we go sledding (next year?) I am going to push myself to go.