By Kyle Pekurney, Red Apple board chairman and father of 2 Red Apple alums
After 15 years of marriage the only thing I really know for sure about women is that they think and do things completely different than men. Take dishes for example. A man has one goal and one goal only, to finish and finish in one quick and decisive action. I’m not interested in neatly stacking cups, separating silverware into tiny little custom made utensil condos, or scraping the food off of the plate before I put them in the dishwasher. No Sir, I am a numbers man! A man’s objective is to beat the previous day’s record of dishes put in the machine. There are no style points for neatly stacked cups, no judges making sure your silverware is arranged by type. The only thing that counts is quantity, the more the merrier, load that thing up to the brim and then add a few more! I don’t want to brag, but I currently hold the record of all my male friends at an astonishing 317 dishes. …and if you think that is impressive you should see how many clothes I can cram into a washing machine on laundry day.
Women on the other hand approach this chore completely different. My wife will actually wash the dishes before she puts them in the dishwasher. They are spotless!! Furthermore, it seems that she took a class that taught her exactly where to place these dishes: Cups go on top arranged by size and material, plates are lined up with the precision of a U.S. Marine unit, silverware is divided and put into its very own department and a three dimensional map with satellite imaging and GPS is used to check the entire process. It is enough to drive the male species absolutely crazy!!
And so it is with raising kids, from day one we viewed this task through two different lenses. When both of our boys were born I couldn’t help but dream of all the “tomorrows”. The day they would be big enough to go play catch, bait their own fishing hooks, or ride that bike without training wheels. I dreamed of all the “tomorrows” when I could watch them catch that game winning pass for their high school football team, come home from their first real date, or tell me they had been accepted to the college of their dreams. You see, like most fathers I was caught up in the trap of all the things “tomorrow” brings. My wife on the other hand wanted to keep the boys small and babies forever. She marveled at every little coo, burp, and body function they performed. She loved them in every single stage they were at. She feared the tomorrows, embraced the todays, and mourned the yesterdays.
Last night my oldest son came into the living room and slapped me on the back exclaiming, “What’s up Dad?” Looking at him almost eye to eye I realized I suddenly yearned for a few more “yesterdays”. It seemed like just yesterday that I was sitting on the couch with his little body just big enough to barely cover my chest. Then, just a few ‘yesterdays” ago I was walking him into Red Apple preschool holding his little hand so the backpack that was almost as big as he was wouldn’t cause him to tip over. Yes, I yearn for a few more yesterday and a little less tomorrows. I think my wife, like most mothers, does a much better job of appreciating and cherishing all the moments that those yesterdays bring.
I recognize that truly, they grow up so fast and the best I can do now is to explore and enjoy the journey in the present. Tomorrow will be here soon enough, I realize now perhaps a little too soon.