Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When Your 13-Year-Old Daughter Knows Your Heart

If you've read my blog long enough, you know two things about me. The first is well-known, the second lesser, yet regardless, well-known to me. 

1. I want my house clean at all times. No equivocations. I cannot handle a dirty house.
2. I have no desire to learn what the hype about Minecraft is, nor do I want to play it at all - ever.

And, if you've followed me, you know that #1 is a constant problem. My kids know me as the dad that always makes them clean. Sure, we have fun together, as a family, and individually, but if you stopped them on the street and asked, "Tell me the one thing you would tell the world about your dad," they would reply, "He never lets us do anything but clean."

Welcome to my life. 

I disagree though. That isn't true. They actually spend the majority of the day creating the mess that they will be required to clean later, or the mess that I will need to clean all by myself.

And they love Minecraft. All of them do. I hate it. But I see value in it for them. I don't know what the value is quite yet, but I'm learning. It seems to create a sense of community amongst them, as well as with their friends from school and the neighborhood. They build things together, destroy things together, fight over The Freak (5) destroying all of their things, together. On and on it goes.

Last night, I walked into the house and saw that the two kitchens' sinks were piled high, overflowing with dishes. The kids were headed to bed, but I intervened, rustling them all to the kitchens. There, we split into teams and finished the job in about 20 minutes. Even The Freak grabbed a dish towel and learned how to wipe well, with Laura's (11) instruction.

Then, this morning, Renaya (13), brought me her phone and showed me something on Minecraft.
Daddy. See these carpets I made? All the kids picked their color. Each of them has 10 carpets. As they complete a task, clean a room, weed the property well, etc, I will destroy one of their carpets. Whoever gets to zero carpets first, gets to play on my phone for an hour.
As I walked out the door to go to work, this morning, Frederic (10) and Jack (6), the little guy who never cleans, burst out the door after me.
Daddy! We cleaned our room. Now we're going to weed the swing set area!
Um....what just happened?

There are some days I really feel warm fuzzies for my squirts.

1 comment:

  1. LOL Now that is called creative motivation!