Friday, April 20, 2012


Raising teenagers is like sending a slinky down the stairs; you know it's going to run off course and get stuck. Guide and nudge that's your job. - Michelle

Image Source Page:
There was never a more frustrating exercise for me as a kid than playing Slinkys. I loved them! I loved the metallic swoosh, swoosh, swoosh sound they made. I loved the way they seemingly 'floated' from one hand to the other under their own momentum. I loved racing Slinkys down the stairs. I loved it but really it was more frustration than pleasure. I would poise my Slinky strategically on the top step  and wait for the signal, then give it a nudge to send it on it's way.

Sometimes that dam Slinky would fly over the first three steps and bounce the rest of the way down. One time in six I would get lucky and the first push was precise and set the perpetual motion into effect, my Slinky would 'walk' down those stairs like a commercial champion, get 4 steps into the journey and coil itself back up into a stack and wait for all the other Slinkys to 'sproing' on by. As I write I an trying desperately to playback memory footage to a time when I executed a perfect Slinky run. I can't find one, I'm fairly confident in telling you that it never happened. It never happened but I loved that game anyway. I would spend hours setting my Slinky up to fail, redirecting it's path and restarting it time and again when it got stuck on the journey.

I never won a Slinky race but I always celebrated my Slinky landing at the bottom of the stairs. I celebrated because that was the triumph, not how elegantly your coil got to the bottom of the stairs but that it got there at all. I celebrated because of the one thing every Slinky player knew; every time you launched your spring you ran the risk of it getting tangled on itself. If that happened you were done. You can't untie a Slinky, just any Dad presented with a mass of wire by a sobbing 4 year old. You could probably avoid the whole mess by keeping your Slinky on a shelf and just saying "look, I have a Slinky." I knew kids who did that, but that is not what Slinkys are for.

Gratitude today to my teenagers Slinkys. The game is always fresh, frustrating and fun. Most of all you give me so many reasons to celebrate, no matter how many times I push you down the stairs and how much work it takes to get you to the bottom, you always get there 'untangled' in perfect form. Lucky for Dad...Moms are a lot easier to untie.

Have a fun weekend everyone!
Gratitude, Hope and Smiles are meant to be shared - get to work!