On Halloween, my mom gave Noah this little flashing light stick. It was really cool. It changes colors and makes different light patterns. He hasn’t been able to put it down since that dreary fun-filled night.
We’re also getting ready to move, and this Dad is on a “throw everything away that we don’t absolutely need” kick. I’ve filled up six dumpsters in three weeks with crap that has accumulated over the last decade or so. Stuff nobody would want. Stuff I certainly don’t need. Broken stuff. Disassembled stuff. Stuff that I need directions for but have no directions. Stuff that was cool once but now is no longer…
And stuff that is running out of batteries.
Like little flashing light sticks.
Yes, I did it.
I threw away his light stick.
I really don’t know why, if I’m being honest. It’s not junk. It’s not garbage. I could replace the batteries.
I was just in the trash everything zone.
And so… into the garbage his light stick went.
20 minutes later…
He came stomping into my office. One fist clenched around the light stick, the other just… clenched. He was mad.
“WHY DID YOU THROW AWAY MY LIGHT SWORD?!”
I looked at him sheepishly. Crap. Busted. “I did?”
“YES DAD! YOU THREW AWAY MY AWESOME LIGHT SWORD!”
The sheepishness of my look didn’t get any less wooly.
“Ummmm… sorry buddy. I didn’t mean to.” I lied.
He wasn’t buying it.
I looked at him like we were both victims here.
He wasn’t buying it.
I held out my hand and said, “let me see it.”
He wasn’t gonna let me get within ten feet of it.
“I’m sorry buddy. I must have accidentally put it in there when I was cleaning and packing.” I lied again. Why the heck was I lying?
His clenched fists and tear-filling eyes were why I was lying. I had no idea his light stick meant so much to him.
He then went on to tell me the grand story of how he had been washing his hands when he saw me open the garbage to throw something away. Inside, he had seen something blinking which naturally piqued his curiosity. So, after I was gone, he investigated. And then… dad was busted.
Yep. Dad got busted big time.
As I sit here I feel nothing but guilt. Guilt for fibbing. Guilt for throwing it away. Guilt for being the worst parent on earth.
And yet, I’m laughing at the same time.
Cause stuff like that is funny.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing