Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Donuts with Dad

Last Friday, Cael's preschool held an event for the fathers of students to attend.  Normally Joel's busy schedule wouldn't allow for his attendance at any events during the school day, but because we've neared the end of the year and his daily load has lightened somewhat, he was able to be there for Cael instead of sending someone in his place.

I suppose we could have told Cael that Joel would be there, but in my family's grand tradition of dragging out a surprise to painful lengths, we kept him wondering about who would attend.  Even as I forced Cael from my van that morning and his anxiety about the party reached public temper-tantrum level, I thought of Joel's plan to surprise Cael and ushered him into the building with the promise that someone-- someone would be there.

I left, patting myself on the back, knowing that I was setting Joel up to swoop in as the hero.  Cael would be ecstatic and Joel would sit on a pedestal for the rest of the day.

You've known us long enough to know that things never go that smoothly, though, right?

Joel came for the party and Cael was surprised.  But rather than that surprise manifesting as happiness, he was wary and suspicious, later asking me,

"Mommy, you told me that Daddy had to work.  But then he came to school anyway."

"Yeah, I know.  I was trying to surprise you."

"No, you were trying to trick me."

Pretty much.  But I wasn't too worried because I knew he'd still enjoyed his time at school with Daddy.  Daddy, on the other hand, got to experience a surprise or two of his own when Cael recited the bio he'd written about Joel. 

"My Dad's name is Joel.  He is taller than I can reach, and he is 14 years old." 
Fourteen?  I wasn't there to see it, but I'm guessing Joel was happier with that estimate than the actual number.  He did hit the big 3-0 last year, after all. 

"My Dad's favorite food is vegetables and candy."

If Cael wanted to make Joel (and in effect, the both of us) feel like poor excuses for parents, he could have made something up, like our raging alcohol problem or tendency to leave the kids alone for hours on end.  But instead, he decided to invent facts that, although also untrue, were just believable enough to pass as truth.

"I love my Dad because he does cool things with me.  We wrestle together.  And the best thing about my Dad is that he gives me money."

Wait, what?

Joel may have left the school on a pedestal in Cael's eyes, but we were both taken down a notch.  But I guess that's what you get when you trick surprise Cael Foreman.

1 comment:

Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.