This past Friday my wife Kim prepared a lavish dinner. She really went out of her way. It took hours to prepare and we were all looking forward to the salmon with capers in a white wine reduction sauce. (I don’t really know what the means but it sounded great!). Every Friday night we sit down as a family to have a family meal. I don’t always make it home early enough to do so during the week, but Friday is sacrosanct. This Friday was no exception.
Kim usually gets the kids to help. Sometimes Noemi (our daughter) helps cook. Sometimes Marcel (our son) helps bring utensils to the table. Sometimes they both just help set the table, but they always do something. This week Marcel wanted to be extra helpful. While no one was looking he took the meal and brought it to the table. Unfortunately, along the way he dropped it. He also didn’t tell anyone. It took a while but we did find it, on the floor outside the house. This Friday was a holiday and we actually ate our meal (or would have) in a booth outside the house. What made things worse is we couldn’t cook anything else. The holiday started and we had no opportunity to make anything else. When Kim discovered the food all over our walkway, let’s just say, you could hear her initial reaction for a mile in every direction.
We of course asked the kids what happened. They of course blamed each other. Mistakes happen. No one is perfect. But what we do afterwards, that is a true test of character. I told my kids what I tell my employees, lying is unforgivable. We can fix most mistakes, but only if I know about it. If you hide the mistake from me it will only get worse. The lying is a fire-able offense at Andres Mejer Law. Obviously, I can’t fire my kids.
So what did I do?
I punished both of them. Naturally. I told them the punishment would get worse the longer it took the responsible person to step forward. Marcel stepped forward, almost immediately.
It’s a good thing I didn’t jump to conclusions. I thought it was Noemi. She is older and usually helps. She also has a bad habit of stretching the truth to avoid getting in trouble. But I was wrong. It was Marcel. I spoke to them separately and their stories were accurate. Marcel did it. Marcel felt bad so he blamed Noemi.
Marcel apologized. I can’t fault him for trying to help. I went easy on the punishment. But, I was still hungry . . .
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