the flyin’ f**kin’ magic elves

every once in a while you need to challenge your children — in this case, i mean — challenge their understanding of how the world really works (at the core) and keep it real.

this was one of those times…

a few weeks ago, there was a storm brewing inside our house…and it had the normal warning signs…the rumbling, the growling, the flashes of lightning on the horizon, and the general feeling that something big was going to erupt — and erupt soon.

the reason for the ominous weather was pretty simple — it was because my wife was upset. note: she’s not prone to this, takes a while to get her there, but it was too much. *thinking back on this event, i’m literally surprised that she didn’t throw down some serious lightning bolts right then and there [i could swear her eyes glossed over with that milky-white haze you see happen when storm (from the x-men) lights up the sky — boom!]

regardless, she was upset because our kids were disgruntled and complaining about everything (it was non-stop) — and so then, as you would expect, it happened — my wife burstūüėäand shared with me, in an edgy-hushed voice (upstairs while the kids were downstairs), why she was so frustrated…she told me that she couldn’t believe that the kids were so unaware and most importantly — so unappreciative of all that we (but particularly she was doing for them) — this list is not comprehensive but it included: laundry, organizing friend visits, getting them to school, cooking a good dinner, and setting up the elf on the shelf every night…

after our conversation, i knew i had to do something…so, i went downstairs and called the kids over…when we were face-to-face i gave them a play-by-play of all that mom had been doing around the house and said, you need to go upstairs right now and tell her that you’re thankful for all she does for you…they nodded and were beginning to turn to go upstairs when i said, and there’s one more thing (my own storm was getting whipped up by now), do you think the magic elves come in at night and really bring you all this shtuff?! *in my head it sounded more like this, do you think it’s the flyin’ fuckin’ magic elves?! — but, i didn’t say that out loud…

[now, i know what you’re thinking — you didn’t but i’ll tell you, oh yes i did! it was on now, and mom needed backup — and mom wasn’t the only thing that was going to burst, we were going to burst some worldviews here and now…had to do it (and our kids are in fifth grade, it was time and it was the time!)]

after i asked them that question, they were like: uhmmmm…

so i asked them: who do you think does all this stuff, really?

(after a pause) they said: you guys?!

me: yes, but primarily it’s your mom — look, this stuff doesn’t just happen, it’s not magic — it’s because work is getting done. you need to see that, be appreciative of it. so, go thank your mom.

so they did.

and the storm cleared.

and the dominoes fell.

after the elves, it was santa.

after santa, it was the tooth fairy.

and so on.

happy holidays to you & yours!

God Smacked (Part II)

the second time it hit me recently (a time where i saw God in my daily life) was…

when i was driving to work a month or so ago…

well, it was a friday and i was happy as can be — until the flat tire happened. there i was, pulling through the drive thru for my regular friday morning coffee when the “tire pressure” warning light came on. i thought,¬†ok, this is related to the patch i just got 2 weeks ago when a nail went through¬†— but no, this was a new flat (and i heard it before i saw it). the dreaded hiss of air going out. and then i saw it. a piece of sheet metal embedded in the tire. honestly, i feel like mad max in¬†fury road¬†these days¬†because there’s so much sh** on the roads with all the f**king construction (press play on “old man rant”)!¬† anyways, it was a slow leak — so, i paused and¬†considered my options. and that’s when it started to rain. so, i checked¬†the time and realized that i was already running late, so my next thought was:¬†i could change the tire and be even later (and dirty, wet & grungy b/c of having to crawl around on the wet ground) or go to plan b.¬†plan b won out. i drove on and made it to a tires plus close to work, ubered in, and got to school right before the students showed up. that was a blessing in and of itself. then,¬†right around lunch time, as i was sitting there ruminating on the sh**-show start to the day – i heard a voice say,¬†hey, mr. d.?!¬†i looked over towards the door and saw a student from last year’s class (graduated already) standing there smiling. and she wasn’t empty-handed. she had randomly brought me in a milkshake from mcdonald’s — and it completely turned things around. funny thing, the student is somali (from a recent immigrant family) — and we couldn’t have more different life stories — but we both love us some mickey d’s!;) anyways, it was an unexpected kindness — and totally saved my day! thank you, muna!

God Smacked (Part I)

prior to this fall…it had been hard for me to see God, the higher power, the ultimate goodness — in the day-to-day — it was a significant non-God phase for me…where i definitely felt the absence of the Holy Spirit…but, then something happened…

and not once, but twice…

here’s the first thing that hit me…

it came out of the blue…two friends/families we’ve gotten to know through our kids’ friends randomly coordinated a double-sleepover for our kids, jack & grace. and they did this so that my wife & i could have an overnight together (without our kids around). when i first heard about the offer (through my wife) i was so overwhelmed by the gesture that it nearly knocked me off me feet. i had that reaction because it had been 10 years since we’d had a completely solo overnight without our kids! let me say that again — it had been a decade! pretty wild. have you ever been given a gift like that?! if you have, you know what i’m talking about — when it happens, it rocks your world (in the best possible way)…it was very generous and thoughtful — and my wife and i made the most of it! thank you, tanya & gretchen — for that little (but big) act of kindness — we are grateful for the gift you gave us — 100%! while i know there are those who may use this term to reference different experiences — in my world, what happened to us is what i’ve come to call being God Smackedto be loved with such a force that it bowls you over, right then and there! ūüôā

*in retrospect, the most ridiculous part about this whole thing was my thinking as we were getting to know these friends a year or two ago – i was like, i’ve got my friends, i don’t need new ones, i don’t need to get my friends through my kids, etc…but then, i came to know them and like them (for sure) and pretty quickly overcame my silly resistance towards these new friendships — even before this amazing gift! 

**this event also ignited a memory — and i had flashbacks to when the kids were first born (we had twins) — and at that time, so many friends and family members showed up and loved us — and helped us through those early days…we wouldn’t have made it to today without that kind of love…

thank you, girls

despite my last entry, this school year has been 1000x better than last year…

the overwhelming majority of the kids i have are ‘into the student gig’ and ‘on top of their jobs’ in the classroom…

it’s a good feeling, it’s the best feeling…especially when measured against last year’s trials and tribulations…

it’s a much-needed reprieve…so much so that i’ve dubbed it ‘my recovery year’…

and i’m thankful for it…

i’m also thankful for a group of girls that i had in my class last year…a group of girls that got unintentionally pushed aside and lost in the turmoil and craziness that shrouded the last school year…pushed aside, but not forgotten…you see, they deserve mentioning, they deserve recognition…for the way they showed up in my class last year…

their names are natalie, lindsay, erin and sarah…

and last year, at the end of every class they said, ‘thank you’ as they left the room…and it was a genuine salutation…though a bit shocking, by today’s standards in public education…

so, ladies…here’s to you, here’s me raising a glass of coca-cola to you right now…

it didn’t go unnoticed, it mattered…

and i appreciate it!

cheers!

%d bloggers like this: