It sounded like a good idea.
A couple weeks ago, Molly and I were visiting my dear friend Amy and her daughter Hannah (Molly’s best friend since birth) in Ohio for the first time since they moved away three years ago.
(Molly is on the left.)
One night, we thought the girls might enjoy a trip to one of the local colleges. They were putting on a week-long event where actors gave dramatic, interactive monologues as historical figures like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.
In hindsight, perhaps “enjoy” was a bit optimistic. We thought they’d be “enriched.”
The night we went, Andrew Carnegie was the featured character.
And boy did we get a show.
The presentation was held under a huge tent. It started with “Andrew” walking us through his childhood and the early years of his career.
Molly: Why are there only old people here?
Me: I don’t know. Just listen.
Ten minutes passes.
Molly: Hannah wants to know what time it is.
Translation: When the heck can we get outta here?
Just then, things began to get interesting. The rain started slowly, just a gentle patter on the tent roof.
Gradually, it began to get louder and louder. Soon our pal Andrew was giving his vocal cords a strenuous workout.
Then, the sirens started. An ambulance careened toward one of the nearby campus buildings.
As the sirens blared, Andrew desperately tried to stay in character: “OH MY, I WONDER WHAT THE EXCITEMENT IS ABOUT?! I DON'T BELIEVE I'VE HEARD ANYTHING LIKE THAT BEFORE!!!”
Then, gale-force winds began to whip and all heaven just broke loose.
Sound equipment threatened to topple over and college personnel began to frantically fasten “sides” on the tent building.
Far too little, far too late, boys.
Andrew must have been of the diehard “the show must go on” variety because he was determined to go down with the Titanic.
“LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE INDUSTRIAL ERA ….” he shouted as people began to run for their lives.
Molly: “Uh, Mom, aren’t these tent poles made of metal? … And, uh, doesn’t metal attract lightning?”
Good point, Molly. I didn't raise me no dummy.
Amy: I’ll go get the car.
Molly: This is kind of exciting. Not many people can say they got caught in a storm with Andrew Carnegie.
We all finally got in the car, completely drenched, looked at each other and burst out laughing.
So, what do you do for an encore after that?
Well, the plan was to make smores over a firepit.
Instead, we did the next best thing …
Life’s unpredictable, isn’t it? Constant readjustment at every turn.
Friends move away. You lose your job. Spouses disappoint.
It’s painful. Uncomfortable. Scary.
It strikes me that the same thing happens in parenting.
Kids are always in some form of evolution. Sometimes they pull away. Disappoint. Make life difficult.
Sometimes they don’t live up to our expectations.
What happens if they don’t turn out the way I think they “should"?
The possibility is painful. Uncomfortable. Scary.
And I have to readjust.
Because “Plan B” might just be what their Creator designed them to be.