Coming home after work was refreshing. Especially when I worked the early shift … When I got home at three o’clock or so in the afternoon, there was still a lot of day left. After dealing with accidents, law-breakers and the court system all day, it was just normal … I became more relaxed, the closer that I came to our house.
Our street was quiet today. It was the middle of the week, it was summertime and it was hot, and the neighbors were either inside or at work. As our house came into sight, right off the bat I could tell … Something was not right there today. There were clothes and toys, sheets and pillows, and even pieces of furniture, thrown out into our front yard. All of this mess was directly underneath the boys’ room and their upstairs window. I quickly got out of my Patrol Car and made my way into the house.
“Honey, what in the world is going on here?” I called out to my wife.
The boys were sitting at the kitchen table and she was feeding them large portions of ice cream and cake.
“You’re going to be so proud of them,” she called back. “Just come on up to their room with me. You’ve got to see what they’ve done.”
Without saying much, I followed her upstairs and looked with her. Sure enough, for a change, their room was immaculate … Everything was cleaned up!
“Honey,” I quietly said, “I think you need to come outside with me.”
She had no idea what I was talking about and without explaining much more, I led her out the front door. She was shocked!
“Those boys!” she was mad when she said, “I told them to clean up their room and look what they’ve done … Instead of cleaning up as they were told to, they just threw all their mess out of the window and here I am … Rewarding them with ice cream and cake!”
When we came back inside, our sons were still sitting there at the kitchen table with big glowing grins on their faces … Still stuffing their faces with ice cream and cake. They were so happy and proud! They had cleaned up their room as she had told them to and were now reaping the promised reward … Ice cream and cake.
She was very upset, but I chuckled. They were so small and so young, and there’s no way that I was going to correct them for something like that. Before long though, she got over it and we all began laughing. After all, our sons had done exactly as they were instructed … Just in a different way than was meant.
I guess life is sometimes like that. Although we know it’s not the best way, sometimes we do whatever it takes … To get our ice cream and cake.