Corroding

Corroding: (v) to eat or wear away gradually as if by gnawing, especially by chemical action.

At one time I adopted (or maybe adapted) three extra sons into my household.

It was a inspiring feeling—the sensation of helping these kids out, but also the pride that came from doing something out of the box, which funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
other people “oohed and ahhed” over because of its nobility. (That’s who we are–a mixture of possibility mingled with ego.)

Well, back to my story.

I wanted to make sure the young fellows were comfortable, so in a fit of generosity, I decided to buy them little candy bars which I could hand out after meals as desserts. The candy wasn’t that expensive, and I knew they would look forward to having one after enduring the latest green bean surprise.

Here was the problem: every time I went into my pantry, there were fewer and fewer candy bars. It was not due to the fact that much time had passed, and many meals had corroded my supply.

No, I was being pilfered.

There was someone in the home who was taking more than his fair share of what I bought out of tender loving care.

It created two problems. First, there were fewer candy bars than there should be, and unless I purchased more, we would run out before the end of the week. Secondly, if I didn’t get to the bottom of who was copping the treats, I would buy more and inadvertently feed the addiction to both chocolate and deceit.

So even though I felt foolish, I realized that the greatest corrosion in the situation was the breaking of trust and allowing one or more of the young men to believe that taking what was not offered is acceptable, and not stealing.

It was painful.

I think the third degree went on to the fourth and fifth degree and the inquisition took at least four hours.

Finally, one of the young men broke down, in a reaction that landed somewhere between tearful and enraged over being trapped and admitted that he was the one who snatched the sweets. It was ugly. It is always ugly when something of value begins to corrode and it becomes necessary to trace where the attack is coming from.

But because the young man admitted he was the one, I was able to continue to buy candy bars, and trust that the other two fellows would watch him like a hawk—to protect their prize.Donate Button


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Amusement Park

dictionary with letter A

Amusement Park: (n) a large outdoor park with fairground rides and shows.

A magical time and a magical result.

Being the father of several sons, I had the opportunity to instill into them the most important virtue available in the human arsenal of emotions: trustworthy.

After all, eventually you have to reach a point as a parent, where you trust your children to do something–because if you trust them to do nothing, you not only taint their self-worth but also turn them into little scavengers always looking for a way to cheat without getting caught.

One of the tools I used to create this trustworthiness in my children was the local amusement park.

When they reached preteen, I purchased a yearly pass for them at this establishment, which was not more than a few miles from our house. It became the means by which we communicated with each other concerning the importance of chores, truthfulness and family obligation.

Quite bluntly, I was fully aware that my children would love to live at this amusement park with their sleeping bags, two weeks worth of potato chips and candy bars. Since this was out of the question, instead I afforded them the opportunity to attend the amusement park frequently if they showed me that their work ethic and honesty were up to the challenge.

Proving this to me long before they entered the amusement park, I could go in with them, sit on a bench and eat really cheap, delicious hot dogs and send them off on their own, telling them to return in exactly an hour and a half, and know with great confidence, that they would honor this commitment i order to maintain an ongoing passage to this magic world.

  • It was magnificent.
  • It was illuminating.
  • It was one of the greatest teaching tools I ever used in my years of fatherhood.

Some people would call it a bribe. These are the folks who have bratty children but insist they always tell them the exact truth and never deviate from the facts.

I am a parent. Like the New York City police, I am allowed to be deceptive if it stops a crime.

So those yearly passes to the local amusement park was one of the best investments I ever made to ensure that my sons would grow up with some understanding of responsibility … which lends itself to the righteous position of tapping pleasure.

 

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