Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BEACH WEEKEND with Friends

I spent the weekend at the beach. A friend's beach house. There with our friends and and their friends,
a large group of almost twenty adults and kids. It is difficult enough for me to navigate living in a house with anyone else (i.e. my wife and kid) but somehow I managed the weekend with four other families and their rules and regulations and behaviors.

Of course, as you can imagine, at a certain point the subject of parenting actually came up and was discussed, open for review. Everyone had opinions on how to do it, and had no trouble expressing them. I am kind of an unusual parent in that I will openly admit from time to time that parenting is hard, if not impossible. Having a kid has really only taught me one thing about my own up bringing: that my parents were terrible parents. Nice people, but TERRIBLE parents. I didn't learn anything.

So somehow we all got onto the topic of our kid's cursing and fouled mouths and I admitted that
just because I have a kid I haven't stopped myself from cursing at all. I actually like cursing as I think it adds flavor to any dull conversation. And I admitted that I didn't really mind so much at all that my son was developing a potty mouth too. I was only concerned that he used his curses well. Economically. I just want him to be able to curse with a flourish, Then no one would complain as they would be charmed by the great use of language.

Anyway, as I said there were other families around. Families that seemed as comfortable with praying before dinner as I am with telling my son to "get his ass in bed before I come in there and beat the crap out of him!"
I could tell that I was making some folks blush. But it wasn't for affect, I swear. I was only sharing my parenting secrets.

Anyway, later at dinner on one of the nights there, we all got to talking about our kids again
and I was saying that my son had recently become very interested in this lousy Mel Brooks movie, SPACEBALLS.
THis was a shitty spoof of the Star Wars series and it was not only not funny but really probably the most shameful moment in Brooks' career. Everyone at the table agreed. So I announced that I had recently told my son that I was going to show him BLAZING SADDLES as he aught to at least be taught what a good Mel Brooks film looks like at home. He shouldn't have to learn this stuff on the street.
Well, one of the parents sent her wine flying through her nose and I was suddenly silenced by a wave of coughing that drowned out my my educational thesis.

I think that I learned something of great value here which of course like all good lessons is nothing new, just the stating of the most obvious. Those who can't do teach. Those who do, do. And it is best to keep your mouth shut when it is obvious to everyone that you have absolutely no idea what it is that you are doing.

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