We all have our thorns
Shortly after giving my wife a rose garden, I hit on the idea of recruiting my kids to help me keep it up. At first they objected, but once I explained that it was “for Momma,” they were happy to help. Helping momma, after all, is a Good Thing.
The other week, as we were working together, my youngest came out with a piece of deep wisdom. “You know the thing about roses?” he said. “If you just see the thorns, you’ll miss out on the beauty. And if you just see the beauty, you might get stuck.”
“True,” I said. I really wanted to ask how he’d come up with that, if he’d heard it anywhere or come up with it himself, but I restrained myself.
A minute later, he continued the conversation. “Like with you Daddy. If you just see the fun, you miss out on the thorns.”
“Thorns?” I said. “I don’t have any thorns.”
“Like when you whack us,” he said.
“I don’t whack you.”
“Yes you do! On the back of the head, or with the boomwackers.”
The boomwackers are large plastic tubes. Each one is tuned so when you hit something with it, it plays a note. They are absolutely perfect for hitting each other, and we’re always sneaking up on each other with them.
“But you whack me too,” I said. “We all whack each other!”
“It’s still whacking,” he said.
What could I do? I whacked him on the back of the head. He laughed and whacked me back.
“Hmph,” I said. “Looks like you have thorns too.”
He went back to weeding. “Yep.”
For those concerned parents out there, the whack to the back of the head doesn’t hurt at all. You angle your hand and swing your arm so that all you do is shove the hair on the back of the head forward. The motion pushes the head forward slightly, but other than that causes no discomfort. If you’re interested, you can see a more violent version of the head whack on NCIS.