Today I had my first real “parenting scare.” I was horsing around with my son and his wrist popped. You know when you pull on a finger and it pops out and back in ? Well his wrist made that sound and it scared him, scared me, and hurt him so bad he was hysterical for almost 3 minutes. I could barely dress him to get him to the ER. Now you have to imagine this to see the humor, so read on and try to visualize.
Iâ€™m panicking because I think I just broke his wrist from holding him by his hands when his body weight was too heavy. Heâ€™s hysterical and literally acting like his whole e right side is paralyzed. This is my first experience with an injured child of my own, so I am almost in tears because I feel totally responsible. My incredible daughter is trying her best to make my son and I feel better. I canâ€™t touch my sonâ€™s right arm at all because of the pain, so I put the shirt over that arm but not in the sleeve. I RACE to the Er with him, jump out and get my daughter out first, then run to my sons side. I take his seat belt off and then…………HE SAYS “Daddy my shirts not on” and SLIPS HIS RIGHT ARM INTO THE SLEEVE LIKE NOTHING HAPPENED!?!?!? I say “Youâ€™re arm doesnâ€™t hurt” and he says “No, all better.” With a smile. Ummmmmmmmm WTF !?!?!
After walking him in just to double check and wait for his mom to come and check him, I loaded them back in the car (feeling like a complete idiot in front of my ex wife) and decided to cancel the hike/picnic I had planned with them. Besides, it was too cold. We happen to be near Southlands and I knew there was a pottery-painting place over there so we went. Got a great table, picked out some cool items to paint, and had one of the most memorable times the kids and I have had as a family ever!
The place was packed and oddly enough it was mostly kids with one or the other parent (meaning either the mom or the dad). Could I have possibly found where single parents take their kids? ha-ha. But there was ONE family there where both the mom and dad were with the kids. I am going to explain to you EXACTLY what I saw because it ties into my point.
The table with both parents consisted of a boy and girl (probably 8 to 10 in age) and parents around my age. The kids and the mom were painting. I only noticed this table because another man and his daughter came in and sat next to them. The single man said, “Hey dude, I never see you on this end of town.” He says “Ya, unless I am going to McCabes (The bar right next to this shop).
Now that they had my attention I noticed that the father had his nose BURIED in his F&*^%ing Phone the entire time, had nothing to paint, and looked like he probably didnâ€™t even know where he was or who was around him because he was so wrapped up in whatever was on his phone!!
I thought to myself as I looked around at the other single parents (assuming they are divorced like me) that we all lost 50% of our time with our kids due to divorce. I never thought I would have my kids and then say, “Ok, I only want to spend HALF my time with them. I wanted and still want all 7 days of the week. But this is what I got. And this “dude” was sitting there with his kids and ignoring them. He said more to the single dad than he did to his kids the whole time we sat there. So so sad.
Now I know some of you may think to defend him and say, “well maybe he had to catch up on work emails.” I assure you it was not that. He looked like he was either reading the inquirer or watching porn. He kept laughing, smiling, and his eyes never left the phone. Plus he looked annoyed that he had to be there and never turned to face his family; rather he was faced away from the table. But Iâ€™m not trying to judge (although it sounds that way), I am trying to set up my point for the story.
Hereâ€™s a two part “aha moment” for you.
First, I may not have had a day like today if my son hadnâ€™t scared the Bajesus out of me. Today will be a moment that is burned in my brain forever and one I will always cherish. Who knows, 20 years from now I may be at one of the kids weddings and theyâ€™ll say “Remember when we painted that pottery after Brady hurt his wrist?” And that is what one might call a “CAPTURED” opportunity right? Meanwhile the table next to us, another father is MISSING an opportunity!!! Hopefully he wonâ€™t the next time heâ€™s there, possibly now a single dad like me because maybe his wife decides that if sheâ€™s not more important than his phone than whatâ€™s the sense.
In class we have an opportunity to check up on so many people in their quest for fitness goals, but what about things outside of fitness? Or maybe fitness related goals that if obtained would be life changing but if missed would be life CRUSHING? Today I am making a promise to myself and itâ€™s as good as the promise I made to you all 2 months ago to stop drinking diet soda (Havenâ€™t touched a soda since, cold friggin turkey), and that promise is to be more aware. If I see someone working hard, and losing weight, I am going to tell them. Maybe itâ€™s those words of encouragement that they needed in that moment to keep going. Maybe they were ready to give up because they thought no one noticed. And if I see someone avoiding eye contact but looking like they need a friend, I am going to go start a conversation. My gym lost a great lady recently because she didnâ€™t feel she could talk to anyone and I can promise you my whole team is more aware now of people who may need that hug.
Hereâ€™s the point folk. ALL around us people are having opportunities thrown at them whether they know it or not. And sometimes those opportunities can make or break the amount of LOVE, JOY, or SUCCESS we are going to have. If you ever see me missing an opportunity PLEASE come over and smack me. I was tempted to do that to the “Dude” at the table because believe it or not I want great things for pretty much everyone. And more so for his kids than him, but even some for him. Donâ€™t be wasteful of your time, donâ€™t under-estimate the power you have to change a life, and most of all donâ€™t ever suffer the regret of a “Missed Opportunity.”
Thanks for reading and I stole a word from a friend, which I am going to use now in my closing line.
Go Be Epic!!
Jay K. Duplessie
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