Like most parents choosing to raise their kids in the city, most of the time, I’m confident and certain about my choice. Once in a while, however, something happens that makes me question my decision.
Take last Friday, for example.
My sons and I were exiting an East Side grocery store with a cart filled with groceries when an alarm started blaring. Then, we saw a guy jump into a brown car that pealed away onto a busy street. A second or two later, a security guard came running outside, said the guy stole two bottles of liquor and asked if anyone got a license plate. (I did not.)
My kids were absolutely blown away by the loudness of the alarm and the "bad guy" action. We talked about stealing, and the consequences of stealing, in the parking lot. When we reached our car, I realized that someone had backed into our car, busted out a taillight, and, not surprisingly, didn’t leave a note.
I tried to ignore the broken taillight. I didn’t think we needed to segue from a liquor story robbery discussion to a little chat about hit-and-runs. But Kai, who I often refer to as "eagle eyes," noticed right away.
So, all the way home, we talked about hit-and-runs and the importance of taking responsibility. At the supper table, we talked about stealing again, and before bed, Kai asked if I had ever stolen anything. But the biggest chunk of fallout from the messed-up afternoon came the next morning, when the boys took turns chasing each other around the living room, reenacting the liquor store holdup.
"Hey, it's my turn to be the guy that stole the beer!" Kai told his brother.