Let me re-count the ways I remember about my kids. Did I really love my own teenagers?
When they asked me why they could not wear jeans with holes in the knees for a religious service. When they ate a kilo of grapes before my eyes and then asked their mom, “What’s for dinner?” When they put their arms around me and smiled, “You love me, don’t you Dad?”
A familiar cry to many parents was heard daily in our house with the commencement of the new term, “I don’t want to go to school!”
A week’s off on a holiday during Diwali and I am fit to go back to work… for a rest. “Daddy, what are we doing today?”, became a terrifying and predictable start to each day. That is when they remembered to call me mummy, as if to emphasize my lack of parental commitment the rest of the days of the year.
On the last day, she even asked me, “Mummy, where is Mummy?” I spent the whole week trying to do as little as possible while the terrible trio tried to keep me as active as possible. The battles of wits began daily with me keeping my eyes firmly closed, ignoring a child bouncing up and down on me as I pretended to be asleep.
With all the children out of sight, a quick dash down the stairs, grab the newspaper, dash back upstairs and into the loo, the only safe hiding place in the home, to read it.
Yes, I confess, I bribed my children in the form of ice-cream, toys and sweets. No amount of bribing could solve the most traumatic problem of the holiday, however.
During one family prayer and discussion on the passion and death, our elder daughter asked, “if what you say is true and Jesus was crucified even though he was innocent, why didn’t his mother, Mary, sue the government?
If our children, the future of our families and the world and tomorrow’s leaders, believe every injustice in life should be settled with a lawsuit, did they get the idea from today’s leaders? From warring parents, TV….?”