Once upon a time there were some parents who wanted to be very deliberate. So they came up with several whiz-bang systems to whip their nine kids into shape. Those parents were my mom and dad. They did lots of stuff, including taking us up to the mountains to camp for a month and learn about hard work (here) to dressing up as “characters” to put us to bed to keep our imaginations up to par. And they did their darnedest to teach us a thing or two about money. I talked about our money system back here.
Here’s a paragraph from that post: “I remember pretty vividly the day my Dad introduced the new “system.” He sat us down on our big brown patchwork sectional (the vintage one I wish I had a picture of) and showed us a video he had made… of himself explaining our new money system.
(I think I need to try that method of getting children to listen if I can still remember it all these years later…)
It was monumental, I tell you: that system my Dad introduced. I remember loving it, but I remember it was also a tad bit complicated (ok, a LOT complicated!). I went on in that blog post about how Dave and I tweaked the system a little and came up with a system that works for our family (just click here for more info. on that).
Well, during our reunion at Bear Lake this summer my brother surprised us with the very video I remembered made such an impact on me all those years ago.
Boy oh boy we were all about to bust a gut watching that sweet footage. I just have to share it. I know it is long, but honestly, skip to the middle part (maybe around 8:40, or 10:50 is even better, and 16:10) and see if you don’t think it was the most complicated thing you’ve ever heard.
…and if you don’t think that is the cutest Dad there ever was…especially at the end (17:10).
There are two things I realized as we watched in tears of laughter:
1) Everyone, even my parents who are “super parents” in my eyes, adjust stuff to meet the needs of their own individual family. My parents were dying at the part around 10:54 and also 15:30 where he talks about taking away points for negative behavior because they’re so into the positive reinforcement. They obviously adjusted that a lot. They also adjusted how darn complicated it was because it really did work in their mellowed-down version. We were all dying over how you could earn or lose a half a point here or there and about many different systems those points were connected to.
2) I am my Dad. In so many ways. For better or for worse. Dave and I looked at each other both knowingly thinking that same exact thing as we watched. I think I need to follow my Dad’s example and simplify and calm down a little about all my visions and dreams over here that are sometimes driving this family of mine crazy!
Tonight we went swimming for FHE. I brought out the camera to which Lucy yelled across the pool to me, “Mom, put down the camera, and jump in the pool!” So I did. And oh man it was great.
Sure, systems and rituals and traditions and recording things are great, but what’s most important is to “Love More” and try to inch more toward the dad in minute 17:10 than the one in 10:50.
Love you Dad! Thank you forever and ever for the balance you teach through how you live life. (And HAPPY ANNIVERSARY too!)