This past weekend my wife went away for a “Girl’s Weekend” – a trip with several friends to a resort to celebrate one of their birthdays. They had a great time bonding, playing tennis, enjoying food and drink. They did it up.
Her being gone left the boys and I home alone for a “Guy’s Weekend”. We too had a great time bonding, playing video games, enjoying food and drink. We didn’t have any birthday cake but we had a lot of fun too.
Our weekend was full of events that included a lot of together time but also some personal time, as any good weekend should. Once we helped my wife get her stuff together and hit the road, the “Guy Time” began. First I logged a few miles around the neighborhood (running- mainly to work off what came next) then the boys and I picked up breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. After consuming our morning calories, we headed over to my Grandfather’s place and picked him up to go bowling. At 86, he has been refining his skills through Wii bowling but utterly amazed us with a strike his first roll. In fact, he rolled 3 strikes in the first 6 frames!!
After 2 games of bowling everyone deserved a treat. We hit Sweet Frog for our weekly allowance of frozen yogurt (the oldest of us had more than his share at over 16 oz – he really likes the stuff) and after my Mother joined us I realized we had 4 generations there eating together. Kind of cool. We returned home after our FroYo, I rode 20 miles and then we had movie and pizza night. Getting to sleep wasn’t hard.
Sunday started off with Church then breakfast followed by a trip to Target to get supplies for our next project. Over the past few months the pool table had become buried under Legos (as it routinely is used as the Lego project area) and under the table various containers contained Lego projects gone by. With a few clear containers we consolidated loose Legos, put projects completed or partially completed in their own containers and moved almost the entire mass of bricks into storage in a closet upstairs. We felt quite accomplished with our focus on fun yet getting things done.
After grabbing some lunch (along with smoothies), we returned home just ahead of the sleet and snow to settle in and play a few games. We migrated from the Wii U games to Minecraft and back. It was intense- in a good way. And it was during our second round of Wii U games that the perfection was ruined.
We were playing one of the Marioland games where one player flies around a scifi looking platform and the two other players run around on the ground trying to shoot him down. The flier of course shoots back. I was just getting used to being one of the players shooting at the flier when my turn at the flying thing came around. I struggled through the training period and the boys urged me to start to play, snickering along the way with their easy prey. I flew for a while, further realized how incompetent I was at steering the flying contraption and was almost immediately peppered with fire from the ground troops. I set down the controller in disgust. I quit.
Later I realized how bad of an example I had been for the boys. I had struggled with something and chose the easy route to quit. I felt horrible. I needed to rectify this somehow. I decided to apologize to the boys and draw attention to my failures.
The following night I sat down with the boys and told them I was sorry. My youngest looked at me and then turned to his brother and stated “I think this is going to be a life lesson”. I confirmed that was the case and shared with them why I was apologizing, for quitting the game and providing a bad example to them, and urged them to strive to not follow in my footsteps in this particular way. They were forgiving and seemed to understand.
I have stated before that every day is an opportunity for a life lesson. Every moment with our kids can be a lesson to teach and train. We as parents must always be on our toes, always aware that we are being watched, always on. It is tiring and sometimes we slip, but when we do, we must then consider our mishaps as a teaching opportunity and let them know that when we stumble, we don’t have to fall or even when we fall, we don’t have to stay down. I hope that is the message the boys learned from me and my mistakes and I look forward to the next opportunity to teach them further.