So as you know I have four kids. Three girls and a boy. The girls are almost all in their teens now and the boy is nine (I think). We run a busy week with school, work and extracurricular activities. Whilst my wife and I spend our waking hours working, the kids spend their spare time finding ways to spend the money we earned whilst working.
Now in Canada we have found that there are many sports to play and even more uniforms/guards/gear needed to play these sports. I was recently in Walmart looking for basketball clothes for my twelve year old girl and nine year old boy. I had previously visited all the ‘Gucci’ clothing outlets to see what was out there and figured Walmart would do. And it did. For the boy.
I found $9 shirts that the boy loved and really wanted and then came across $4 shorts for him. I thought what a bargain. This is the way to go. I did a trip around the young girls section and there was no basketball clothes for young ladies – note I have now changed to ‘lady’. So, I went back to the boys section and picked a pair of $4 shorts that seemed to fit my daughter on face value. Win!
Once home after the shopping trip I told both kids to go show off their new threads feeling mighty proud on my shopping achievements. I advised the wife of this significant ‘Daddy’ trip and eagerly awaited the fashion show.
So, the little fella rocks out with what is now his favourite set of shirt and shorts and looks smashing ready to get drafted by the Toronto Raptors. Then my twelve year old daughter came out in her shirt and shorts from the boys section of Walmart. Before I explain the next part, let me tell you she was so proud and happy that her Daddy had taken her shopping.
When my twelve year old daughter came out to showcase her new shirt and shorts from the boys section of Walmart to me and my wife – she was happy as punch. It was at that moment that everyone in the room realised that this was one of those awkward parenting moments.
She was wearing a shirt that was way too tight for her (around the chest) and showed the fact that she had now hit puberty. She smiled, I smiled, and just had that realisation that I had failed. Her shorts. Well, she lifted her shirt a little (boys shirt) and showed everyone….that she had hips. Oh yeah…failed again. I feel like there was a real special moment. It kinda said to everyone…”Dad, you tried. Please don’t ever forget you have a) Daughters and b) a Son. – they have different needs.”
So this post is an apology, homage to myself, my kids and to those parents that must think before they act in their own interest.