Chris Hutchins

Use your best judgment

Two weeks ago I thought Damara would write about our family gathering in Orlando during which we played Flintstones Golf. Damara did mention to me that she would write about camping and since we were camping for that weekend I assumed she would touch upon that topic, like every good husband, I was wrong.

I think she may have written a line or two about the sport but since I wrote that she would (my second mistake), and didn't ask her first (first mistake) the chances of her even mentioning the game are roughly equal to that of a snowball's chance in Hell. I felt lucky that she at least stated she wouldn't be writing about Flintstones Golf. Sometimes you're just grateful for the little things, you know?

Where I went wrong is I made a critical error in judgment. I heard she would mention camping, and since we had just camped I associated that statement with that event. Since I'd organized a golf game (using branches from an orange tree and duct tape as clubs, with plastic practice golf balls and cute little scorecards and flags complete with Flintstones characters) as a family event during that camping trip, I figured if she was writing about camping she would write about that trip and if she wrote about that trip she would write about Flintstones Golf. I was mistaken. I think husband is a synonym for wrong. How did he do on his math test? Oh, he got number 12, husband.

Mistakes are inevitable and we can learn a lot from them, for instance, I will think twice before I volunteer any material for my wife to write about, I will never bring a boat home without telling my wife in advance and I will not touch that red hot burner to see what it feels like ever again. See? I learn quickly. I only hope my son learns quickly as well. As a son of mine he has some serious genetic obstacles to overcome if he ever hopes to make it in this world. I pray for him regularly.

Last Monday, my 13-year-old son, told me he needed to tell me something. What now, I thought while going over a mental checklist of his behavior over the past week. He's a good young man, what could it be? It was a behavior notification from school. In case you don't know what that is, it used to be called a referral and it's what happens when a student's behavior is not acceptable but not so bad that it gets them a detention.

Even before I knew the details I was immediately concerned, irritated, and frustrated. As I read the note from his teacher, I maintained the stern expression but began to smile on the inside. The teacher had written a note describing the situation. Keep in mind, my son is 6'2" in the seventh grade.

She wrote: "He was leaning out of his desk to pick up a pencil when his desk fell over, rather than standing up like a normal person, he began to slither around on the floor with the desk on top of him, this is a major disruption to my class." The mental image of my extra-large seventh grader tangled up with his desk on the floor and squirming like a disoriented hermit crab was just too much. Just close your eyes and imagine the spectacle.

After I signed the note I warned him about making better judgment calls, but I can't be too hard on him, after all he is just like me.