Messages from Above and Beyond

I am a husband, a parent to five children, and a baseball coach. I take care of a dog and a cat. I help with homework and give driving lessons among other duties fulfilled. For all of these duties, some of the most exciting moments occur in my own home.

Wife and I try to keep a clean house. Some days are easier than others. Those easier days are usually when the Miracles of Christ are at school or the whole family is out of the house for the day on an excursion. We try to enlist the cherubs’ help from time to time, that’s easier than obtaining answers regarding discoveries Wife and I make around the abode.

King Tut's tomb, still sealed.
King Tut’s tomb. Almost as exciting as what we find at home.

You may already be familiar with the story of King Tut’s tomb. In 1923, an archaeologist named Howard Carter found the tomb and discovered what it contained. The discovery was magnificent in both archaeological and historical terms. The discoveries made that day in February of 1923 answered many questions and led to some new ones. The discoveries I make at home produce many questions but don’t answer much.

I go to one child’s room to wake them up in the morning. They have an alarm but they either sleep through it or just ignore it. On my way through the room to their bed, I notice several items laying around the room, usually in the form of empty cans. Thankfully, these empty cans are non-alcoholic, so it could be worse. Since these cans are actually in someone’s room, it’s hard for them to deny them or not now where they came from. Questions regarding this discovery usually produces answers such as, “Oh, yeah,” or, “Um, yeah. I was gonna get those.”

Open seltzer cans on a dresser in a bedroom.
They told me they were going to take care of these… a month ago.

Of course you were. Right after you finished your video game or the television show you started streaming for the tenth time this week. I’m sure it was right at the top of your list. Right after the mountain of laundry that’s been sitting there for weeks going on months, waiting for you to scale it. I’m sure it was just a matter of time. It’s not like you’re in the room sleeping all morning and you walk past them when you finally get up out of bed.

Other discoveries are a little difficult to pinpoint. These are the ones made in the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen. Upon entering these parts of the house, the visitor is met with random scraps plastic left from opening powdered drink mixes. No one can explain these mysterious phenomena. Empty chip and snack bags. Again, no one can explain this. Water bottles. Juice boxes. More miracles of God. Things people have certainly seen but weren’t around to witness the actual happening. “I don’t know.” “That was there when I got here.” I wonder if we’re on some sacred burial ground of an ancient civilization long forgotten and the spirits are somehow communicating with us with these objects and items randomly left about the house that trespasses on said sacred ground.

Food and crumbs on furniture.
Gifts for the gods.

Sometimes, there’s food and crumbs left with these mysterious packages. If you’ve seen the movie “Coco”, you know that people leave food for the spirits of their departed relatives. Maybe people in this house have been leaving food for the spirits. It’s also possible that people in this house are eating snacks and leaving crumbs but we don’t want to offend the gods, do we?

I’m not sure who to speak to about this. The Oppressed? The Gaggle? Discovery Channel? The Boy? Wife? National Geographic? I’m sure someone from PBS would love to know about these strange occurrences randomly taking place all over the house. Doggie doesn’t care where it’s coming from. She’s just happy to have an extra snack now and then. I wish these mysterious spirits wouldn’t leave so many signs. It’s hard enough for our dear children to clean the house as it is. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe they really are cleaning but Ida Know and Not Me from “The Family Circus” are dropping by and leaving subtle reminders that they were here. This much I know: It couldn’t possibly come from our children.

A dog eating crumbs off furniture.
Not everyone in the house is upset about the crumbs.

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What I say (What I mean): Communicating with your children

Parenting’s tough. Anyone who has children knows that. Sometimes it takes more than a larynx and diaphragm to get a message across to our little cherubs. Sometimes it only takes a slight variation of the vernacular to reach them. Here I would like to share with you my little nuggets occasionally bestowed upon our miserable little darlings. I’ve also included the intent of said nuggets. As an intelligent human, I’ll let you figure out the desired result(s).

I can’t even. (The words to describe this tomfoolery have yet to be invented.)

I will violate my parole. (I will find a cop and confess to whatever unsolved crime they are investigating if it means a couple of days to myself.)

I’m out of medals. (How nice of you to put your plate in the dishwasher this time. Your job this week was all of the dishes, which I have done twice in as many days so we could have clean dishes for dinner. I’m sorry you were up texting your friend until 12:30 this morning but some of us had to be responsible people today. But thank you for gracing us with your presence this mor- afternoon.)

I want proof of life. (Come out of your room and into the kitchen so we know you are actually out of bed and dressed.)

We’re not translating “The Divine Comedy”. (You have to write a sentence about a cat. Put on your big boy/girl pants and suck it up.)

Who’s on Dish Duty? (There is a mountain of dishes in the kitchen that’s about to topple over. how about putting the phone down and washing those dishes we told you to do three days ago?)

Who’s on Laundry Duty? (Everyone’s out of clothes again. How about pausing that PS4 and taking a moment to load the washer? It’s alright. You’ll have a solid 15-20 minutes of gaming before you have to move the load to the dryer and reload the washer.)

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