Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Not Enough So None At All

To my son Tommy,

Some say the bowl of cereal is half full. Others would say it is half empty. The other day, you said it was not enough. Then you refused to eat any of it because it was not enough and you wanted a big full bowl. I was dumbfounded.

I knew your cereal was a little skimpy. The oatmeal container was almost empty when I grabbed it. Sometimes you eat a little and waste nearly half a bowl. Other times you ask for seconds. So I decided to give you what I could make and if you ate that I'd happily open a new one and make you more. You weren't having any of it.

I knew you wanted to come out and shovel snow with me, so I left you with the ultimatum of eat your cereal first, ask for more if you want more, and then you can come out with me. I stuck to my guns as you tried to negotiate and whine and cajole and complain. You finally gave in, possibly because your mom came down and backed me up and you saw no out. Plus, your mom is usually a bit more pleasant than your old stubborn father.

Had there been no snow to shovel, I think you would have stayed steadfast. To think, you would be so stubborn as to go hungry because it wasn't enough. You get that from me, I am sorry to say. Your grandmother always told me that I would cut off my own nose to spite my face. As it was you didn't ask for seconds.

I understand wanting things the way you want them. I understand that, when they aren't that way, it may be difficult to get past. But you have to make an effort to rise above your stubborn genetics and be thankful for what you do have. You may not get everything you want all the time, but a half bowl of cereal is better than not eating, and half a bowl now and half a bowl later is one full bowl. If it persists, perhaps we will need to teach the lesson by volunteering to help serve the hungry.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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