“Okay readers, today we’re having a little pop quiz, it’s multiple choice, so sharpen your number 2 pencils and put your thinking caps on. Ready? Here’s a quote: “Dad, you’re an idiot.” Now, contestants, this was said to me because of which of the following transgressions? A: Coming to the breakfast table wearing pajamas and black socks? B: Asking my oldest daughter if that guy I saw her talking to yesterday at school was her boyfriend? C: Referring to rapper Fiddy Cent as “Fifty Cents”? or D: Entering the room? Okay, pencils down. Actually it was a trick question. The answer is all of the above. Now do you know how many times I called my father an idiot? Zero. Why? Because I feared him. Back then we didn’t share our deep personal feelings, our deepest conversations usually revolved around the tigers bull pen. But my kids, I can’t get them to shut up! There’s not a feeling that my kids are afraid to express over and over and over. And my wife reassures me this is a good thing over and over and over, and she’s always right. So do I wish that my kids feared me? Well my house would be quieter, and I’d spend a lot less time in the bathroom, but no. Because I know that whenever they insult me whether it’s a “You’re an idiot,” “You’re a geek,” or an “I hate you,” an “I love you” isn’t far behind. And it’s the knowledge that my wife and kids love me that makes it safe for me to wear pajamas and black socks to the breakfast table.”
I cry every single time.