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Dys-is-Fun Family Memories
By Nan C Loyd
Friday, March 23, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
Putting the "fun" back in dysfunctional!
Creating JOY memories is so vital and something much lacking in most families today. We have so many in our family, we’re almost dysfunctional in the area of fun. I wanted my son to know joy and laughter, and have good memories of our family. As a former single mother, I refused to raise a son who was a statistic, i.e., most boys raised by the mother alone usually end up dysfunctional and in trouble later in life. Crock.
I was reading a comment today that sparked a memory of something started many years ago. My son was 11 when my husband married us and adopted him. About 9 months into the marriage, we went to a convention in Texas and stayed in a room with one of those little refrigerators. At that time, my son was so in love with chicken strips, he ordered them everywhere we ate. One evening, he wasn’t able to finish his strips so he asked for a to-go box. He lovingly put his box in the refrigerator when we got back to the hotel. The next morning, he opened the door to the fridge and lo and behold, his chicken strips had disappeared.
It is hard to describe the look of agony and betrayal on Josh’s face when he discovered his dad had eaten his chicken strips. You know how it is; you have your mouth all set to eat something you really wanted and it’s … gone.
Now my husband felt badly because he just didn’t understand the concept of leftovers at the time. He hates taking food home; he’d prefer to just leave it on the plate. To his Engineering mind, he’d done nothing wrong. I know, I know - it IS hard to believe such an intelligent man thought that when dealing with an 11 year old. What can I say? It was a shocking revelation to me, too, and a sign the honeymoon bubble might be losing its air (it wasn’t).
BUT to save the day, he immediately invented the “3-Minute Rule.” He explained to Josh that the 3-minute rule had kicked in and all food was fair game. The rule was that any food left alone for three minutes became the property of anyone who came across it sitting there. It created a heated discussion and much laughter that day.
Silly, I know, but that one little moment of brilliance - inventing the 3-minute rule - was the basis of much joy and laughter throughout the rest of Josh’s time living at home. Of course it was also the basis of many loud vocal, “You ate my WHAT? I wasn’t finished with it yet. I can’t BELIEVE you did that. You KNOW I planned to eat it. Don’t EVEN give me that 3-minute rule garbage” (that’s my voice there)!
Today Josh is 24 and STILL talks about those chicken strips. What could have just been a few moments of hurt ended up being a memory implant into all our lives. Over the years, he’s managed to get even a few times but not in the food area. Hubby is a bit too wily to be caught out in that area.
The moment the 3-minute rule was invented, a precedence was set in our family that what you don’t laugh at can get you hurt - just wait until I tell you about the time hubby told me Jesus ate my cashews. Yes, he really did! But that’s another ramble.
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