Dads Say the Darndest Things

Grandpa and boy sitting on a dock look out at the water

Cropped image. Shona1968, Flickr. CC License.

My daughter said a four-letter word.

I’m not proud of it, but it happened and I have to own up to it. These words aren’t thrown around lightly in our house, but when a 100-year storm is washing away half of your worldly possessions, you might let a few words slip out that you normally don’t use in front of the kids.

I’m not making excuses for my salty choice of words, can’t take them back now. But I can learn from it and understand that little ones are sponges and learn from their surroundings—no matter how wet.

In an odd twist of fate, we have a small social experiment going on in our house. No, it’s not who can talk more like a sailor; it’s that one of our daughters was home when our basement flooded, and the other was living it up with her aunt in Chicago. Our 3 year old flood victim was here to see us bag up some of her favorite toys and put them on a pile that stretched driveway to driveway. Her older sister saw the aftermath when she came home, but we don’t think she was able to truly grasp the magnitude of what happened.

Unfortunately, both of them have felt the stress of my wife and me trying to figure out what we’re going to do next. Where do we start? How do we pay for it? Will we get any assistance from the government? Some of those questions remain unanswered, but through the help of great friends (from our Beaumont Parenting Group) and family, we’ve been able to start the rebuilding process to get our home back to the safe place it was for our girls before the rain.

Our youngest is still a little apprehensive to even go downstairs, while our oldest still thinks some of her lost treasures are still in the garage. It will be interesting if they’ll even remember what a mess this was, or just go with the flow and be better and a little tougher for it?

Who knows, but I’m guessing that kids learn by example, so we’re trying to teach perseverance and that through trying times, family sticks together.

But maybe with fewer four-letter words.

– Jim Pesta, Parenting Program participant and father of two girls

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