Sunday, November 17, 2013

Just Effing Smile

Most parents know how difficult it can be to raise children, and most of us have a list of things that would fall onto a list of parenting mistakes.  We all make them, regardless of whether you want to admit it.  Come on.  You can't go 18+ years and not make some sort of boneheaded mistake that you later (often the moment after it happens) regret.

I have three adult children, and I can tell you that most of those stupid mistakes are harmless in the end.  Yes, I know, there are some lopsided adults out there that want to blame their personal issues on a mistake their parents made.  After all, we are a nation of finger-pointers.

My children listed their favorite vacation memories during a Facebook conversation.  It included several memories that made me smile.  I am thankful, as a parent, that I could be a part of making those memories possible.  Somewhere in that top ten favorite memories list was a memory that makes a top ten list of my own; the top ten mistakes I made as a parent.

The kids were very young at the time and we had taken the tent and spent a few days in Missouri.  As with all of our trips, we had a blast.  It was on the way home, somewhere on a back highway in southern Missouri we came upon this old concrete bridge that had been closed.  It was an awesome looking structure, so we pulled over to explore a bit.

The kids were tired, which is most often accompanied by cranky in children that age.  Before we returned to the car, we decided the stop warranted a photo.  As mentioned, the kids were cranky, which in turn made mom cranky, which, as we all know, gets dear old dad cranky.  We were all cranky.

Of course, it is difficult to smile when you are cranky, and who wants a photo of cranky kids.  After what felt like hours of trying to coerce the cranky kiddies into a smile, and the cranky meter pegging out for all five people involved, it happened.

"Just Effing Smile!"

Yep, I said it.  I said it to little kids.  My little kids.  That memory has haunted me since.  Every time I think about it, I cringe.  What a horrible father!  I cussed at my kids!  To this day, I hate that memory.  Nothing I can do about it now, but it still bothers me, and always will.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this memory float back onto a Facebook page, and the kids were laughing about it.  One of their favorite vacation memories?

Wow!  My kids are messed up!  All I can do is effing smile.

Progress on the book:

I was hoping to publish book two today, but regretfully, this won't happen.  The delay is my fault, but now I wait for other parties before I can publish.  There is just a couple of days of editing to complete, once I get the notes back, and there is the book cover and the map.  I am waiting on others, but only because they had to wait on me.

At this point, all I can say is "soon".

I haven't been idle while waiting, I am already deep into book three.  Hopefully that one will happen according to plan.

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