I recently shuffled stuff in my home office, and the other day I got around to hanging my big, huge, oversize whiteboard on the wall again.
So, we’d had a really rough day — hectic, busy, crazy schedule kinda thing; mom was away at some work thing, and so I decided to make a very concerted effort to hang with the kids all evening and make the most of it. It was a blast — we had a great time, they had a great time, we did stuff together, they did stuff together (my goodness, at one point they were playing a board game — with each other — without fighting or accusing each other of cheating). Bedtime rolled around, we headed upstairs and while they got themselves ready I took a second to check email. While I was working they came in to tell me they were ready, and then they discovered the whiteboard. Oh, what fun. Big, virgin surface.
Now, normally, it would have ended up with another shoving match, or a fight over the red marker, or a “hey, you erased my bit, so now I get to punch you in the side” kind of thing, but tonight was just special. They stood side by side and doodled a bit, Lea wrote down the names of all her favorite horses, Lucas wrote down the names of his favorite cars… and then the most amazing thing happened: they spontaneously started writing nice things about each other. Now, understand: we haven’t yet made it to that part of our family meetings yet, so this is really uncharted territory. But as I turn around now, I have: “Lucas is awesome and really great at Monopoly hes the best brother you could ever have” over on one side of my whiteboard, and “Lea is really cool she is fun to play with and is nice to me she is the best” on the other. And I’m not sure what to do, because on the one hand I need my whiteboard, on the other hand I don’t want to erase this, ever.
I even got my very own shout-out: “Dad is awesome he lets me do stuff some parents wouldn’t and he left me make choices that some parents wouldn’t make the kids do so he is is AWESOME”. Okay, so he spelled it ASWOME, which really is just even cooler. I like being an aswome Dad. Sure beats being a grumpy old nagging nay-sayer. And from a kid who has been giving me the eye-roll and the heart-felt “whatevah” for months, it’s pretty big stuff. I’ll eat it right up, and ask for more.