Monday, September 30, 2013


The old-time band leader Lawrence Welk used to gather the attention of his crew leading up to a performance number by calling out, "A-one, an-a-two". This piece is not about that. In fact, it is the exact opposite, sort of a "A-two, an-a-one". It is about how I sometimes go about things in the wrong order, or how I don't deal with the most important things first. In some ways this reminds me of the old saying about how you can learn the native language of a person by how he cusses when he hits his fingers with a hammer. If that is the case, I am likely to loose my "good father" badge as I have sometimes put the "2" before the "1". Let me relate two stories that happened during the raising of my daughter.

Story #1: My daughter and I used to love to go to a nearby park on our adventures. One summer I had purchased one of those air gliders that you launched by mounting it to a spring-loaded trigger. After a few sessions the foam and cardboard glider had seen its fair share of brutal crashes. As my daughter was reloading the glider onto the rod that contained the spring, the mechanism on the glider that held the spring latch broke and a cardboard tube shot out from the trigger at mach 1, hitting her in the throat. My first words were, "Oh no, the glider broke!"

Story #2: My daughter used to love to go out with me to collect our mail after the postman came. Our mailbox is a rather hefty piece of cast iron. For some reason, the neighbors across the street used to love to back their car into my mailbox and then come over to beg my forgiveness. Anyway, these repeated blows eventually took their toll on the door of the mailbox. One day as my daughter opened the box to get the mail, something broke on the opening mechanism sending a jagged shard of metal flying. It hit my daughter in the neck. I yelled out "Oh no, the mailbox is broken!"

Well there you have it, my anti-Welk parenting stories. It's a wonder that my daughter even looks at me today.