Tag Archives: Right Choice

Madame Leota’s Crystal Ball Says. . .

We are all time travelers: moving into the future second by second.

Which does us absolutely no good at all as far as planning for the future goes because we can’t see the future until it’s the present and then it’s too late to change it into anything but the past.

Ugh. Time travel makes my head hurt.

Anyway, I was reminded about this issue recently when I was discussing with She Who Must Be Sleeping Because It’s Dark After All a course of action regarding our oldest dude.

The actual specifics of the discussion aren’t all that important (well, they’re important to us and certainly important to him. However, for the sake of this bit here, it’s more the results rather than the cause.), but I found myself thinking of Robert Frost.

One of my favorite poets, Robert Frost wrote about “The Road NotRobert Frost, one of America's best poets, extolled the virtue of taking the road less travelled. Taken.” In exactingly precise words of immeasurable beauty, Frost talked about how we often face choices in our lives and we can think of them as forks in the road.

We take one fork, make one choice, and that forever shapes all that is to come. Take the other fork, make the other choice, and that also forever shapes all that is to come.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

So we sat discussing our course of action and because the substance of the discussion, the nature of the choice, was so important to Sarcasmo’s future, I’ve never wished more fervently to be able to see the future.

“Are we making the right choice? Will this work out in the long run? Will this be good for him or hurt him?”

This is something we parents have to think about every single day in almost every single decision. It’s not often such a stark choice, but it is there.

Do I make him eat those zucchini slices or not? If no, am I teaching him that he will get his way when he whines? If yes, will I be teaching him that bigger people can make smaller people do things?

The more I think about it, the more debilitating it becomes until I can enter into a state of analysis paralysis. For those of you not up on your rhyming aphorisms, analysis paralysis means you start thinking about something so much that you never make an actual decision. Which is, in effect, a decision. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

There’s an old saying in project management: There comes a time in the life of every project when you simply have to shoot the engineers and run with it.

Now, that’s not actually encouraging people to kill engineers. The issue is that engineers are never finished. They always see one more thing that can be improved upon. One more thing that needs just a little adjustment.

I like to think it’s something similar in parenting. We don’t know what we’re doing.

We don’t know how our actions today will affect the life of our child tomorrow.

All we can do is make what we think is the right decision and then work for the best outcome. Which is, in and of itself, a significantly frightening thought.

So, now that I’ve spent two days scaring the pants off you, I’ve only got one thing to say. . .

You’re not wearing any pants! Neener Neener Neener!

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And The Countdown Begins. Again.

by Richard

Well, you dudes have had a good month and a half off from having to hustle out into the cold, cruel world and search for the perfect gift for your wife, girlfriend, partner, significant other. That’s far too long.

So let’s shake things up and we’ll invent something called Valentine’s Day and we’ll make it all about love and then we’ll amp the commercial aspects of this thing and force school kids to send Valentine’s Day cards to all their classmates even if they don’t like them and we’ll make sure you can’t get through this and keep your relationship going without buying something nice and. . .

Okay, I might be exaggerating just a tad there. Maybe.

Still, Valentine’s Day is an interesting beast. Coming as it does in the middle of February, there’s not much around it, thankfully, so it seems as if this holiday got put there just to break up the winter monotony. Sure I could be wrong, but the cynical choice can be depended on to be the right choice a lot of the time. Even when it’s not, it still sounds like you know what you’re talking about so you will do it again and again.

Anyway.

Valentine’s Day is coming up on Feb. 14 and it’s this day, no other, that we’re supposed to celebrate our love for the people with which we’re in a relationship. Never mind the other 354 days in the year, don’t worry about showing your love on those days, no this is the one that counts.

Blow this one and you’re in a ship-load of trouble. A veritable ship-load, I tell you.

So, you know, no pressure.

The traditional gifts are flowers and chocolate. You know you don’t want to make either of those the centerpiece of your gift. You’ll get that polite smile and smek on the cheek, but behind her eyes you’ll see the crushing disappointment, the despair and the sure and certain knowledge that you really don’t understand her and never will, you jerk.

What are you supposed to do, then, if you can’t go with the traditional?

Oddly, I’ve found that one of the best ways to do this is just to ask. Not blatantly, you understand, subtly. Look over mail-order catalogs with her, see what she likes; or force yourself to go window shopping with her.

No matter what you choose, make sure it’s something personal. I mean, she might really need and want a new iron, but that’s not going to get you any points come Valentine’s Day.

Best of luck, dudes!

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