Life is full of ups and downs, twist and turns, and decisions that we make on the fly. As a father of four, I make a decent amount of decisions daily. What to make for school lunches, how to do the girls hair (practice needed, just ask my daughters), clothes for today, breakfast; the list goes on and on.
Speaking of decisions, I decided to use a picture of myself as title image for the first time (looks more like a dating profile pic😂).
I read an interesting article the other day on PsychologyToday. One takeaway- The average adult makes 35,000 decisions a day! (https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/stretching-theory/201809/how-many-decisions-do-we-make-each-day).)
That’s one decision every 2.5 seconds! (Like my math there?)
Somedays I feel overwhelmed when I have four little humans relying on me to make ‘good’ decisions for everyone. It’s a huge responsibility. Can I get a hot dog?
My friends, todays blog is about decisions and the importance of making wise ones. Our choices carry consequences. Choices, choices, choices.
We’ll look at two stories today. I hope you enjoy and choose to read on (sorry, I couldn’t resist the Dad joke).
It was the mid 90’s and my parents white Chevrolet Lumina van was cutting through the fog on the Pitt’s Memorial Highway, NL. Behind the wheel was my father, in the front passenger seat was my mother, and I was looking out my window at the barely lit road ahead of us.
Thanks to the fogs thickness, our headlights barely did anything.
Fog is a part of Newfoundland and Labrador’s DNA. Sometimes it’s so thick you can barely see a few feet ahead of you. The reason for our super thick and seemingly never ending fog is this – we are surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and the cold air coming down from the coast of Labrador hits the warm air coming up from the Gulf Stream.
You now have…
Indeed our minivan was like a white torpedo going through a grey abyss.
I remember asking my dad this question,
“Dad, why is it so froggy out?”
Yes, that was my pre-teen word for fog. Just like Chimley instead of Chimney, and that Swiss Chalet sold two types of chicken…dark chickens and white chickens.
You may now laugh.
In fact the word Froggy stayed in my vocabulary for years to come until one fateful day, one of my peers laughed at my ridiculous word choice for fog. I was pretty embarrassed considering no one told me different (thanks Ma and Pa 😉).
So here’s where it gets better. About two years ago my oldest son, Benaiah, said that he wanted to go to Booger King to get a hambooger.
That pronunciation triggered my froggy story and I took a strange comfort in knowing I wasn’t alone for my word choice and ‘creativity’.
That was about two years ago.
Well this past week my wife and I were chatting in the living room when Benaiah walked in, plopped down on the couch and stated that he wanted Booger King for supper.
I had to say something. I couldn’t let me son experience the same embarrassment I did with Froggy. So I made the decision that I would gently correct him.
“Son, you do realize that it’s actually called…”
Before I could finish my sentence, Melissa gave me a fiery stare from across the room and mouthed, ‘Don’t you dare.’
I brought up solid. My decision for correction was aborted (for the sake of my limbs) and I decided to let my son experience correction on his own at a later date.
Later I thought about it more. I came to this conclusion: some things need correction and other things could use correction, we just need to choose which one is appropriate at the time.
Benaiah didn’t need correction. Nor did I need to say anything. I think once we understand when to speak and when not to, we might save ourselves a lot of unnecessary dialogue.
Even if it means having hamboogers and choosing a white chicken over a dark one.
It’s school day.
Eason Clan routine.
Wake up. Breakfast. Get dressed. Brush teeth. Out the door.
Times by four.
With the oldest children going to school and the Twinados tagging along in the van, I have an semi-orderly system for getting out the door on time. Tackle the oldest first then work my way to the youngest.
Usually it works.
I pride myself on showing up on time for appointments and school. The struggle is real though, trying to herd everyone into the van: one child lying on the floor, another is crying because their shoes won’t go on, one is in the kitchen trying to swipe snacks and only one is listening (for the moment, I might add).
Not a bad ratio… 1 out of 4.
After using my dad voice, I managed to corral the children into the van and off we ventured to school. As we drove down the highway I began to tell the latest excerpt from The Lord of the Rings to my kin. (Never too young for J.R.R Tolkien).
Halfway through my retelling of the Hobbit’s entering Riverdale, I noticed up ahead that traffic on the highway had come to a stand still. In fact it was backed up for at least two kilometers.
A car accident.
(Thankfully no serious injuries)
Due to three vehicles involved, traffic was feeding through one lane…very slowly. There was no way around it and I knew we weren’t making it to school on time.
1)Do I stay on the highway and slowly crawl along?
2) Or do I take the off ramp and try and get around the traffic by going down side streets?
Can I phone a friend?
“I CHOOSE YOU OPTION TWO!!!”
*Only Pokemon fans from the 90’s will get that reference.*
After taking the off ramp, the traffic congestion seemed to clear…that is until I drove about a kilometre and saw a huge string of traffic trying to pull left onto one of the busiest side roads in the area for the morning commute.
After waiting in the line for about fifteen minutes -with all the other skip the highway drivers – I started to realize that my choice did not turn out so well.
Thankfully someone gave me a break and I joined a new line of jammed traffic. It went from bad to worse.
After driving on Thorburn Rd for a few minutes I then got into the wrong lane, got cut off, almost side swiped a vehicle…the list goes on.
Railene then offered up her word of wisdom from the back of the van.
“You should have stayed straight Dad.”
It felt like Yoda just spoke to me. An obvious but yet accurate statement.
If I had stayed straight on the highway, I wouldn’t have gotten stuck in multiple traffic jams – due to a bunch of drivers avoiding the congestion on the highway. In fact I probably would have just moseyed on through.
I pulled into the school parking lot thirty minutes later.
What did I learn this week?
Sometimes I don’t need to say anything (which I’ll admit, I need to do more often) and also, I just need to practice patience.
Decisions not only impact me, they also impact those around me.
Lets make the right ones today.
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