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we've had some great dinner table questions as of late. things like:
  • if the kids were here home alone, and one of you, let's say anthony or alex, were reaching onto the counter for something and cut the underside of the forearm deeply--like deep where blood was pulsing out of the cut--what would you do?
  • what do you think makes someone a good conversationalist?
  • If you had to give up something, what would you have the hardest time giving up?
  • i once asked you who or what can make you angry. now i want to ask you who or what makes you happy?
  • what is the body's largest organ?
  • let's say we're at a movie theatre and the fire alarm goes off. you stand up and see a red exit sign in the corner. but everyone else in the theater is walking up the aisles walking out at the top where everyone came in. which way would you go? and why?
  • you are the hogwarts champion. like harry, you learn that the first challenge deals with dragons. you also come to learn that two of the other competitors know about the dragons but one of the champions does not. what do you do. (supplement, some will surely say i'd go tell the headmaster but you should add that one of your best friends is who told you of the dragons and telling the headmaster will get them in trouble.)
  • you and i are biking down the hill by the boys school. it's just the two of us. as we're flying down the hill fast the front fork and tire break off the front of my bike and i pitch forward, getting slammed onto the ground. at first your laughing and wowing because it looked crazy and funny. but when you see i'm not laughing or even moving you stop and come to me. it's like i'm asleep and you can't wake me up and i'm hurt and bleeding, what do you do?
  • does a good decision do more good than a bad decision does bad. or, what is better or worse? and why?
  • What do you think parents often misunderstand about kids today?
  • What important life lesson have you learned the hard way?
  • What's your favorite summer-time memory?
  • When you are talking to someone, how do you know they are really listening? What should you do if you suspect they aren't listening?
  • what is the number one thing required to learn something?
  • if you could have one of the following, which would you rather have: 5 million dollars or a positive attitude.
  • what is fear? and is it real?
  • when was a time you were at your very best?
but marty recently asked one that put the others to shame. she asked:
the other day i asked my husband how i was doing as a wife. in thinking about it i thought that since i'm not just a wife, but also a mom, i should ask my kids the same question. so, on a scale from one to ten, one being super terrible and ten being the best mom i could be, how would you guys rate me?
anthony immediately gave her a 9.5 but quickly added that if she gave him unlimited screen time, he'd bump her to a 10.

bella gave an even 9. her caveat for an increase dealt in pre-bed cuddles from her mother. on paper this seems like something our thirteen year old would have outgrown but nothing closes a day more perfectly for me than going to bed just before marty does so you can enjoy her warmth and methodical scratches while she reads her book and i go to sleep.

alex went last and said, without really looking away from the ear of corn he was eating, "eight". marty repeated the score with some surprise. she put it in a different context saying it was almost a C. she looked to alex waiting for more but none came. she asked him how she might raise the score. he said he didn't know. she said that was a pretty bum deal giving someone a score that low without giving things she could do to improve it.

marty reflected on these answers for a bit, especially alex's. in the end she felt it had to do with alex's potential love language (if you're a believer in such things). he may be a GIFTS guy and marty is not only not a GIFTS girl but possibly on the distant opposite part of the scale being an ACTS OF SERVICE person.

a few days later i was telling this story to a group of guys. one guy said in a dead-serious tone:

i'd kill for an eight

really? why so?

because i fear i have a lot of two-moments.

i laughed for a long-while at his honest self-assessment. so, if you are a parent, what score do you think your kids would give you? and is it different than the score you think you've earned?




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