Monday, December 11, 2006


"Have I ever told you that you guys are awesome?"

I asked this of my kids as we walked to the library tonight. It's about four blocks away, so unless it's wretched weather, we usually walk it. Tonight, in between checking out the competition for Christmas decorations,* the kids were superheroes. My son was Stupendous Boy, and my daughter was Fantastigirl.** Together, they were fighting the evils of Below Averageness.

I asked these questions of them all the time, fully confident of the answer:

"Have I ever told you that I love you?"
"Have I ever told you that you're a genius?"
"Have I ever told you that you're beautiful?"
"Have I ever told you that your hair smells like boogers?"

The answer, of course, is always the same. Yes, of course I tell them these things. This is just saying the same thing, but in question form.

So tonight, when I asked them if I ever told them that they're awesome, I expected a response in unision, and I got it.



I was informed that, contrary to my belief, I had never told them that they're awesome. Handsome, beautiful, smart, booger-scented--all of these things I have told them, and more. But I have never told them they're awesome.

"That's what Mom tells us," my daughter said.

The information was given to me without rancor or resentment. They weren't ganging up on me, or trying to make me feel bad. They just answered the question asked them.

I'm not upset about this. Okay, maybe a little. I could have sworn I've used the word to describe my opinion of them. I certainly took the moment to inform them of their awesomeness, and they nodded, and continued their quest to vanquish the evil Doctor Subpar.

This isn't a big deal, I know. If the years had gone by without my never using that adjective to describe them, their lives would not change one iota. But it's a very good reminder to me of this:

Children notice. Children remember. Much more than we sometimes want them to. The passing comments, the praise, the slights. It all gets processed.

A good reminder for us all.


*We're finalists for best-decorated house in Swillburg. The winners will be announced at a party tomorrow night. I know we won't win. The guy down the street has totally kicked our asses. We don't have a single inflatable character anywhere.
**I was Captain Upsetstomach, but that's another story.
***The sound of a confused yeti, which, when I was heavier and hairier, I closely resembled.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

quick! go buy some inflatable dolls! and i don't mean those of the christmas variety.

you'll win, hands down.

awesome post.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good example of the pros and cons of childrens' honesty.

My mother told me I was rotten (among other things) when I was a kid and I'll never forget it.

Congrats on being a finalist in the decorating competition! Where are the pictures?

8:22 AM  
Blogger Timmy said...

inflatable yard things are a cop out, if you ask me!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Pablo said...

Timmy, shut-up. (22,563)

9:48 AM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

This was awesome.

Oh wait, terry beat me to it...

great minds think alike I guess. AWESOME!

I still have two plastic skeletons in my yard.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


have i mentioned you are good dad?

i think i will steal this without attribution as well

11:47 AM  
Blogger Madame X said...

Ummm...I don't think boogers have an actual smell.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shall wait patiently for more on the subject of Captain Upsetstomach. . . .

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone told you that you're awesome BP?

4:53 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

terry: you leave my girlfriends out of this.

notso: I took some last night, but didn't hold most of them steady enough. I'll try again tonight.

timmy and pablo: am I gonna have to separate you two? if you don't settle down, I swear I'm gonna turn this blog around, and no one gets any ice cream!

heidi: it's my understanding that the skeletons are not decorations per se, but part of your children's obstacle course. If this is true, then they should be able to stay for the duration.

cad: it takes one to know one. thanx.

dynamite observation, X!

guy: be prepared for a long wait.

back atcha daniel. when will you be releasing that bit of stateside news?


5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all about contracts dude, can't mention it so I don't get sued!

9:39 AM  

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