The Mental Checklist...

as a father I try to pass wisdom down to my children
my limited wisdom from my limited life experiences

seeing certain weaknesses in my older son that exist in me...
I try to help him trouble shoot these things

focus... come on Dean... FOCUS!

as a parent it can be frustrating
grunting the word FOCUS does not seem to help a child focus

yesterday I took the boys to soccer...
after picking them up from school we went to the park
from the park we went to Dean's first team practice of the season
this involved a bit of a mental list

a simple mental list

cleats... shorts... shirt... shin guards... water... snack... and soccer ball

times three...

I would need to have a set of each for Dean, Grant, and myself
there would need to be snack and fluids for both immediate after school and for soccer practice
not only would I need snacks... but it would have to be something that appealed to them
at the park around the corner from school the boys each had a yogurt, a cheese stick, and a water bottle filled with tap water
we played for a while in the park... only noticing the time was getting late and that we best get moving across town

the boys changed as we drove from the park by their school across town to where practice was being held
at Carter Baron I realized I had forgotten the second soccer ball...
Grant and I would not have a ball to chase when Dean used his in practice
I used this opportunity to explain the concept of "the mental list" to the boys

at mention of "mental list" Dean immediately chimmed in knowing that "mental" meant "crazy"
without much discussion in an effort not to get sidetracked I corrected him
no... there are other meanings of mental

in this case
it is a "mental list" instead of a "written list"

the mental list is in your head while the written list is on a piece of paper

there was of course more discussion
Dean is always quick to get off track with some unrelated labyrinth of "what ifs"
we got it back
... we avoided getting involved in the labyrinth of what ifs
I tried to get Dean to create a mental list for going skiing...

he gave me a short list
I congratulated him then expanded

well... it is more than just skiies and winter coat
you need to go head to toe

ski socks... long underwear... ski pants... turtle neck top... fleece... winter jacket... neck gator... helmet... goggles... and gloves
then their may be the need to pack a snack and water
that is the mental list

then I went through a less obscure set of what ifs...
there was no fire coming from the ski
there were not secret agents chasing you down the hill on snowmobiles
just situations like skiing without goggles or skiing without gloves

he understood

with the boys dressed I tied Grant's shoes and we started to roam Carter Baron to find where Dean's team would be practicing

then I told Dean about my mental list
and how I had created it

then how I went through it in my head
then how I got sidetracked and all but had his soccer bag in my hands
sure I remembered so much... but I still managed to forget something vital

did it stick? did he learn anything?
lessons for children are not taught once
this sort of thing will have to be reinforced over and over again
until it becomes part of who he is

we all have something called "executive memory"
just some of us are better tuned than others

after practice we went home

then had dinner and settled in ready for bed and watched some Discovery LIFE

we love that stuff... it is good entertainment for the whole family

then after that the boys motioned towards bed
as lisa subbed in to finish the task at hand I moved to the camera

oh what a day... a day of pictures like no other
man what an epic day

I went to my camera... NO CF CARD

I scanned the area and collected CF CARDS
I tried to figure if I had pulled the CF CARD getting ready to view the images
I could not recall

panic ensued

the card appeared to be lost
I played the actions of the day through my head
it was worse... yes worse... the photos had never been saved
I rode around chasing people on their bikes with a camera with no memory card
oh man... my heart raced and my blood boiled
I got that feeling in my stomach like I just lost my wallet... maybe worse

the night was ruined
I did not want to look at a computer

I lost myself in a catching up on a few episodes of PARENTHOOD
then went to bed

in bed I could not sleep
each session with the camera

each stranger and friend I approached panned in front of my head

Bill Nye the science guy taunted me
then the man with front and rear baskets on his bike
then the former messenger who was loaned a bike as a prop
it went on... and on... and on
my buddy adam with his dog lucy
oh may... so many great photos

none of them saved

it was brutal
the lesson I tried to each my children... THE MENTAL CHECKLIST
I was retaught that lesson
sure I went through my mental checklist

heck... I had a spare CF Card and a SPARE BATTERY

yet somehow I failed to check the camera for a CF Card


I am at peace with it now

but it caused me great pain

perhaps enough pain that I will not let it happen again


gwadzilla said...

okay... still having a little anxiety about not having the memory card

gwadzilla said...

just a little