Of Thugs, Chestnuts and Turds

This morning when I opened the lap top after the kids had gone to school, their last google query popped up. It said: is t.i. in jail again? In case you were wondering, not that you were wondering, the answer is yes. Yes he is.

And to my children, with your plaintive little google search and Cindy Lou Who eyes: best you figure it out now, T. I. images-1is a thug. You can like him, you can like his music, but he’s a thug. Come to think of it, I think we need to talk about jail too, because all jails are not like the one we saw on the side of the road in Wisconsin when we went hiking. That jail looked kinda nice, right? All those prisoners sort of milling around, enjoying the sunshine in comfy chambray shirts – it almost looked like a picnic for carpenters or something. That’s not what jails are like. Not at all.

Sometimes I think raising kids is all about minor corrections in misperceptions. But I’m definitely guilty of being an over-corrector. I think there is some benefit to letting them muddle about in confusion to a certain degree. They don’t need every little thing explained to them, do they? Maybe, in some cases, we just let them figure it out. Maybe going to jail twice speaks for itself.

And a chestnut on the sidewalk? Sometimes that speaks for itself too. There is nothing – no acorn, no sock, no stuffed animal, no rock, no Barbie – that can remain in St. James’ path without him having to kick it. And kick it again and then try to dribble it. I don’t even think he realizes he’s doing it. The other day he was kicking my brand new t-shirt with the tags on across the floor of my bedroom.  When I yelled at him to stop he looked surprised – like I had interrupted him while he was shredding thru Real Madrid’s defense. On Sunday he kicked a dog turd that was lurking on the sidewalk and got it all over the front of his new indoor soccer shoes. As he dragged his toe on the grass to clean it off he sheepishly admitted he had kicked it on purpose. Nasty? Check. Hilarious? Check. Lesson? Check. Now he knows that just because it walks like a chestnut and talks like a chestnut, doesn’t mean it is a chestnut. You just can’t kick everything in your path. But damn, over-corrector or not, had I seen that chestnut, I never would have let him kick that chestnut.

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