Thursday, June 23, 2011

#38 Dragging Kids to Things That Are “Good” For Them

The dreaded day has approached. You get home from school and have to do your homework right away. It is only a long division worksheet but you question when you will ever have to know how to do long division (Answer: you won’t). Dad tells you to clean up and put on your suit. The suit is hot and itchy and the tie feels like it is strangling you. This night cannot end soon enough. Dad and mom are taking you to the most boring of places. The Opera.

It is Dad’s responsibility to provide their kids with a wide range of experiences and cultural events so that the children can be exposed to things outside of their normal life. Normally it is things like mini-golf or a baseball game, you know…fun stuff. But sometimes it is something boring and requires you dressing up like you’re going to work with Dad. The opera, the orchestra, a fancy restaurant that does not serve hot dogs or pizza, or the worst of them all: an art museum. Dad always says, “C’mon son, this isn’t so bad. Stop pouting and enjoy it. I wish my Dad took me to see Phantom of the Opera when I was your age.” These are little white lies Dads tell their kids because Dad usually also has to be dragged to such events by mom and he is trying to make everyone a little happier.

Sssshhhhhh, the Opera is starting. You have to keep still and be quiet so mom and Dad can listen to the Opera, which is in Italian. It does not matter that neither of them know a word of Italian. It also does not matter because Dad will be falling asleep by the beginning of the second act as mom stares him down when his snoring annoys everyone in a 25 foot radius.

Dad will also drag the family to things that are good for them when the family is in a different city on vacation. He wants to go see some famous park or a museum on accounting while everyone groans. “It’s not that bad, it’s going to be great! This museum has the largest collection of impressionist art in the state (Oh my God, sooooo boring)! I wish I could have done this when I was your age.” As you shuffle off in tow all you think about is playing marco polo in the hotel pool.

When the suffering is over and you are driving home from the museum/play/opera, Dad will always say the family should do this more often. You pray to God that that does not happen. You may think Dad is steering you wrong, but he knows what is good for you.

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