Pulling into the driveway, I could see that all was not well. My wife was on the front porch, surrounded by three preschoolers, all in various states of distress.
As I walked up, I heard her say to my youngest daughter, 'What, exactly, is wrong?"
My daughter blubbered, "Julia and Tootie said their bikes have lasers, but mine doesn't."
My wife responded, "Who cares what they say? If you want to pretend your bike has a laser then pretend your bike has a laser."
"But, they said mine doesn't."
"Yeah, her bike doesn't have a laser," chimed in Julia. "Right, Tootie?"
Missing his chance to gracefully exit the conversation, Tootie instead chose sides and agreed with Julia.
"Yeah, she doesn't have a laser."
My wife, who really just wanted to sit on the porch swing and relax for 10 minutes before finishing dinner, was getting riled.
"That's not nice. Julia, you go inside and don't come back out until you can include your sister."
As Julia, now in tears, left the porch, she turned to Tootie and reminded him that "Isabel's bike doesn¹t have a laser."
Poor Tootie didn't know what to do. He could leave the porch and go back to shooting whatever he was shooting with his bike laser all by himself, or he could change sides.
He chose the prudent course of action, turned to Isabel and said, "Your bike does have a laser. Let's go."
And off they went. One boy and one girl, happy as could be, and one girl standing in the front picture window with tears streaming down her face mouthing the words, "Her bike doesn¹t have a laser!"
At dinner, we revisited the incident, trying to explain to Julia why it wasn't nice to exclude her sister and, at the same time, trying to explain to Isabel that it doesn't matter what other kids say, only what you think
We failed miserably in both instances, or so I thought.
Later that night, walking by the playroom, I heard two happy voices taking turns role playing. One was a dog, one was a cat. When Isabel asked to take a turn as the cat, Julia gladly complied. Both were happy campers once again.
Maybe something stuck?
I hope so. Just like I hope something in this issue sticks with you.
We've worked overtime (literally) to bring you one of the largest issues we've ever published. It's so large that each member of our team had to dive into parts of the workflow they were not used to. Teamwork my twins could be proud of.
Of course, quantity does not mean quality, but we like how this turned out.
Let us know what you think.
Till next month --
Rodney J. Auth