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That’s fine

Is it really? I was having a discussion with my wife the other day and was trying to explain my confusion about the wedding guest list she had to prepare for my son’s upcoming wedding. I knew that she wasn’t very happy with my explanation when she replied with a “that’s fine.”

I took it as sarcasm. You can compare it to what’s often said down south when someone says “bless his/her heart” when the person it’s directed at has made an attempt at doing or saying something that doesn’t meet your standards. Or that you think is below your standards.

It’s a low-level insult, but an insult nonetheless. The one saying it might not realize he or she has uttered something offensive if he or she doesn’t pick up on certain signs from the other person. I’m not sure the signs I gave were the right ones.

The guest list my son wanted from her were the names of my wife’s close friends who were planning on attending, not the entire guest list of everyone. When my wife told me she had to get the guest list ready I thought she meant names of everyone, not just the names of her friends. When I tried explaining why I was confused she said: “that’s fine.” I don’t think my explanation lived up to her standards, bless my heart.

I should learn how to have discussions without explaining myself.

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They leave

In the first Jurassic Park movie when the two kids are stranded in the electric car with that older man and the T-rex trying to get to them, the man runs out of the car and into what looks like an outhouse, and that is where the T-rex finds him. Shortly after the man runs out of the car the young girl screams “he left us, he left us, he left us!” That is what our kids do, they leave us, their parents, and from then on we’re left wondering when the T-rex will eat them alive!

Moms and dads can only hope and pray that what they’ve done as parents will be good enough to help protect their offspring from the tyrannosauruses they’ll surely encounter during their stay on this little Blue Dot. We can’t expect that they won’t get nipped by one a time or two, and if we’ve accomplished our jobs as moms and dads when they do get bit they’ll be able to bandage themselves without too much help from us.

I have four that are out there now building their defenses against Tyrannosauruses. So far they’ve not had to endure too many nips and bites. Yes, all four probably have a scar or two that I don’t know about, and I think that’s okay because scars tell us that we heal, eventually. Knowing that our kids have the necessary adulting skills to heal themselves when we can’t quite be there to help should give us comfort. I’m also extremely proud of my children, and if your kids are anything like mine, you should be proud of yours too.

I didn’t have the upbringing that I gave my kids, due to alcoholism my father lost touch with what it meant to be a good dad. We left home and dealt with tyrannosauruses at an age when we should’ve been dealing with first dates and high school proms. It wasn’t until after all 7 of his children left that I think my father finally came to realize how devastating his disease had become.

We leave our parents to encounter many things in life. Some of those encounters leave us enriched and excited to be out on our own. With a little luck, good bearings, and a steady course, our kids can take a left hook from T-rex and counter it with a right cross! That may leave them with a black eye but it will heal, eventually.

This blog post is dedicated to Benjamin Conner, Whitney Conner, Andrew Conner, and Meghan Conner. May they continue punching and turning away tyrannosauruses!