I make the girls mad. “What do you want for Christmas daddy?” “I don’t know.”
“I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable response depending on the context. Examples of when it is not acceptable: “Why do you have a D in Math, sweetie?” “I don't know.” Nope… not acceptable.
“What do you want for Christmas?” “I don't know.” This is universally accepted as a typical, sufficient Man response. Sorry… life is not fair.
We do not vocalize this response to drive you crazy. We do not do it to cause you anguish or heartache or nights lying in bed wondering what in the world to get us. The truth is simple: we just don’t know.
The fact is that the “I don’t know” response itself is positive, as aggravating as it may be. It means that dad has everything essential he desires and that ultimately what he wants is probably very simple, yet sometimes difficult to give. Among those might be peace. Or love. Or joy. Or minimal family drama. Or a happy significant other. Smiling faces around the Christmas tree. Oh… and a nap.
As little boys, we didn’t respect the power of a nap. We didn’t recognize how naps are empowering and wonderful for continued sustainability of our mental health. We didn't realize that naps, as painful as they were back then, actually made us feel better. On the contrary, we tried to avoid them at all costs. Here comes mom!! She’s gonna say the three-letter word!!! Hide!!
As an adult, I would like to take back all the times I rejected a nap. I would gladly accept them now. So, when the man in your life inevitably responds with, “I don't know,” ask him politely, “Well, how about a nap?” He’ll likely take you up on it, as well as the hugs and the love and the joy and the smiles around the tree. Throw him a gift card in a stocking, and have a Merry Christmas.
I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.