I Done Did Right
My eldest son went to a birthday party this past weekend.
He is in seventh grade and the friend’s party was held it at a local skate park.
“What should I get him,” he asked me.
“I don’t know dude. He’s your friend,” I said. Then followed with, “Money always works.”
“Do you have any money?” he asked.
Sadly, I didn’t. I’ve been waiting on some checks from a few freelance gigs and was down to the wire; I’d barely enough to gas up the car and get groceries.
“Actually, I don’t have any to spare,” I told him. “But you are sitting on that Target gift card from Christmas that your aunt sent you. You could give him that.”
“I guess I could,” he said. Not worrying about the fact that the card had a snowman on it. He sat down and made a homemade birthday and then was done.
All he had to do was burn off the morning hours until noon when it was party time.
He paced. He texted. He took a dump. He paced some more. He texted some more. He watched YouTube videos that were shot at that skate park. He instructed me—and his brother—to make sure we got footage when we went skating while he was gone.
He gave us one of the two Flip cameras they use. “Take the black one,” he said. “It’s better.”
Finally the time came to drop him off. Our skate spot was a bust due to an event going on at the school we wanted to hit up. So we opted to lounge around and play video games and take a short exploratory hike around my apartment complex.
We got a text from my son saying that they had left the skate park and were eating at McDonalds. He said he would be back at his friend’s house soon and that I should come pick him up.
When we got to the house 5 sweaty boys were playing a game of S.K.A.T.E in the street.
“Did you all have fun?” I asked. A collective chorus of “yeah” was uttered.
“Hold on, hold on,” he said to his friends then turned to his brother and me. “I have something for you.”
He went to his bag and pulled out two stickers—one for each of us.
And it was at that moment, that I felt as a parent, I done did right. I spent eights years as a stay-at-home dad; to say our bond with each other is close is an understatement. But I am also no longer married to their mother. There’s always a worry about how deep divorce cuts into the psyche of your children. But on that day, when I witnessed my son apply the principle of re-gifting and partake in the act selfless sharing, I knew things were going to be okay.