I had a few weird things happen Friday. Gabi had a Build-A-Bear party at Somerset mall with her Girl Scout Troop. They have a special 100 year Girl Scout bear and all the troops are getting the bears since this is the only year you can buy them. Anyways, that is what brought me to the Somerset Collection on a Friday in July. I have been to that mall only a handful of times, mostly once or twice a year since Silva and I got married, but have never been there on a weekday that wasn't a holiday shopping time. I'm used to seeing this place being packed but I was shocked to see how little business they had. It really was no busier than Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, since I worked there for a while I have grown accustom to the malls business patterns. The busiest place was Starbucks. No surprise of course, they were giving away free drinks to promote their new Refresher drinks; not bad, but since isn't a review blog I won't go there. Most of the people there were mall employees. I was standing in line waiting for my free drink and my Venti Non-Fat Sugar-Free Caramel Macchiato, which I had to buy because for some reason I feel I have to pay for something if I want to get the free drink; ask me 3 years ago and I would have gone back for more free drinks. My three boys are running around me being more rambunctious then usual. I'm handling it well, using love and logic and keeping a cool head, I am being quite passive with the kids, but I can't shake this feeling that everyone is staring at me thinking I am a horrible dad. In my mind they are saying, "learn to control your kids" and "what are you thinking bringing a stroller in this tight place." It also didn't help that the coffee shops delivery was not put away and spread out in the dining area, which consisted of 1 table and a little bit of standing room. I successfully got out and stopped at the sweetener and creamer stand and the girl who rang me up was restocking. She saw me and the kids and told me how cute they are and then said something along the lines of, "how nice of you taking your kids on a daddy day," I mentioned I am a stay at home dad and she seemed generally impressed. Later I had taken the boys to the potty and was waiting for the elevator when a women started to talk to me and ended up saying to the kids, "its so nice you have a dad who will spend time with you," I mentioned being a S@H Dad and I'm certain I heard her jaw hit the floor. For the rest of the conversation she kept telling me, "I'm so proud of you and more dads need to do what you do." She ended up making me miss my elevator; which gave her more time to shower me with praise. I will admit it felt really good. When I finally got in the elevator, the woman, whom I had just learned was a new grandmother, was still talking as the door was shutting. I believe the last think she said was, I'm so proud of you keep up the great..." the last bit was cut off but I'm going guess she was going to say, "keep up the great ablutions." Or not. At this point the boys are starting to get more wild, I'm losing patience and it happens again. Some one walking by come up to me and say, "it's so nice to see dads taking their kids out for daddy time," I immediately say I'm a S@H dad and that every dad is daddy time, which brings a big smile to her face and says, "well, you are doing a great job dad, they are little angels." I always assume in this situation she would say, "oh, I see you can't get a job, your fat, bald, lazy and are being forced take care of your kids even though you would prefer to play World of Warcraft." Some of those are true, of course, but I defiantly can say I have excepted the responsibility and can care less about playing World of Warcraft. Later, I went and sat on a bench waiting for Gabi's troop to finish up and sitting on the bench was a video game bag and a Velcro wallet. In the wallet was three 20 dollar bills and five 10 dollar bills and two 50 dollar gift card to Gamestop. I made sure nobody saw it and figured a kid would come looking for it so I watched it until they came. After about 10 I decided to take it to information when I looked around and saw a kid running up to every bench looking around it. I saw him glance my way and I held up the bag and wallet and he had this big grin and look of relief on his face. The boy around 10 so when I handed it to him I looked at him and said, "remember this when you find a wallet full of cash and think about taking it, remember how it feels to lose that money." He just said thank you and ran off. Which was a good think because I was about to lecture him on the horribly bloody violent video game he bought. I really hope I at least made him think and even if he forgets me right away I hope he will remember that later in life. I believe everything happens for a reason and I feel we were brought together in that moment because had thing been different that kids would be in jail when he is 16 for grand larceny or something equally as deviant.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
15 minutes. That how much time I have to freak out! My heart is beating a million beats a minutes and I can get it to slow down. Everything I can possibly think about right now is flowing through my mind. Am I going to fail? What if I hate my teacher? Will my car make it home? Will I have a bowel movement at the most important part of the class? Will people like me? Am I having a panic attack or is my body just going crazy because of that 5 hour energy I drank? I think I'm just crazy. I know that I have nothing to fear but for some reason I still can't shake that feeling. I keep thinking this stormy weather is an omen to what this class will be like but I think that's just the irrational part of my mind trying to freak me out. I just need to remember that God is my guide. Through Jesus I can calm my mind and get through this. OK now that I wrote that I am starting to calm down.