I managed to get in a lunch with my girl and a zoo trip with my boy last week. I canceled another lunch with a girlfriend in order to surprise Ri because I felt so bad about how we started our day. I had come home from running in the early morning and Ri was standing in the kitchen bawling. I asked her what was the matter and she told me she lost her locket that she had gotten for her birthday a week earlier. At first, I was calm and told her to search her backpack. We talked about where it could have been lost. I thought she’d find it in her backpack so that soothed my emotions. When she didn’t, I proceeded to get a bit angry in my tone telling her she had to be more careful with things. Ok, maybe telling isn’t the correct verb. More like yelling. She bawled harder and ran upstairs. Ugh.
While she was crying to Jon, I found the locket in the pocket of her backpack. I called her downstairs and gave it to her. Then I hugged her. Then I told her I was sorry for raising my voice. Then I told her that I have to work on not getting so upset. Then I took a deep breath. She finally stopped crying and gained some composure before heading off to school, and I gained a big guilty chip on my shoulder the rest of the morning.
So I biked over to her school and surprised her for lunch. We walked to Stauf’s and got a bagel and hash browns. And we had a most enjoyable talk about what she wanted to do this Summer and what she’s liked most about fourth grade. As we walked back to school, I apologized again for getting upset with her. I explained there was a better way for me to teach her about taking greater care of things and that I didn’t want to raise my voice like I did. She did her Ri thing – flicked me in the arm and laughed and said it was ok – wanting to move onto a new topic. But I hope she got where I was coming from and values the open communication between us. We held hands on the way in to school (not long before that ends) and i gave her a gentle flick as she walked to class. The guilty chip fell off my shoulder as I biked back into work.
The next day, I headed to the zoo with Mario. Jon took the first shift and I took the second. Mario was so excited to have Jon go with him; he was mildly happy to have me. Dad is the prized possession for sure. When I arrived, they were walking towards the cheetahs. Mario gave Jon a huge hug goodbye and told him he loved him – I can never get enough of that action. Then we raced towards the cheetahs. But we’d get about 500 feet and then have to stop to play (5 first grade boys – what else did I expect).
We finally arrived at the African zone only to have ten kids walk by us yelling “you just missed the cheetah run!” Ok, great, thanks. I wanted to pelt them in the head. Luckily, our boys were unphased. We still got to see the giraffes and hang out in a safari tent.
But best of all, Mario tracked down some pigs for me to see in the farm area. Big ol’ heifers laying around and snorting. Mario was so excited to find them for me.
Such a doll when he wants to be. We walked back to the front of the zoo to meet up with his class. Mario was charged up because they got to ride in a Coach bus since the yellow buses never came to pick them up. “It even has a bathroom in it” he exclaimed as I gave him a hug goodbye. Good reminder to me – appreciate the simple things in life.