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A future corporate scandal and ensuing trial was prevented tonight. It all began when Ken Lay threw a fit in my bathtub.

"I want it!" he screamed, reaching for the red plastic ball held in the tiny hands of, and being gummed by the tiny mouth of, my one-year old daughter. She peered over it confused as if thinking the words as they came from my mouth for the thousandth time, "Gresham, you have ALL the balls except THIS one. Can Penelope have just ONE ball to play with?"

And then the life lesson Enron's Mr.Lay and many others either never heard, never understood, or chose to ignore followed.

"When you have everything, Gresham, that makes you happy doesn't it?"

He looked up at me with a squinty-eyed grin, oblivious to where this line of questioning was taking him.

"If you have everything though that means your sisters will have nothing. Do you think they're happy when they don't have anything to play with?"

"Yes," he stated confidently before the judge.

"No, they're not happy if you take all the toys and don't share. They'd like something to play with too."

He handed a broken toy to his little sister - a sponge formerly shaped like a dinosaur but now shaped like a dinosaur that angered the mob and lost his limbs in the "reconciliation" process. His little sister, through with her inspection of the red ball's entire surface with her tongue and three teeth, dropped it uninterested, and gladly moved on to mushing the decapitated dinosaur sponge between her gums. Gresham kept one eye on my moving mouth while slowly swimming one hand through the water like a stealthy shark slipping in for the kill. He nonchalantly wrapped his fingers around the red ball slowly, like a lazy python stealing its prey from the shore, submerged it slowly so as not to be noticed, and slid it along the bottom of the tub until hidden under his thigh...

...while I asked, "Do you know what it's called when someone has to have everything and doesn't like to share? Do you know what it's called when you have enough toys but you have to have everyone else's toys too? Do you know what that's called, Gresham?"

Blank stare.

"Greedy. I don't want you to be greedy, Gresham. You have plenty of toys. You don't need everyone else's too."

Then the sentencing: No red ball, yellow ball or any other colored balls for the rest of bath time. And punitive damages: He had to be the first one out of the bath tub. Community service: Tomorrow he's picking out five toys from his collection to give to kids who don't have any toys. Parole: He has to live with me until he's eighteen.

Rest easy, World. One white collar criminal down (or at least under surveillance); an entire generation to go.


Blogger GrovesFan said...

Wow! I'm glad I'm not being sentenced today. Sounds like the parole is a pretty good deal though. Tough, but loving and just. Great picture too.


Anonymous Randy Webb said...

On what you said in reply to my comment about Derek Webb. I do see what you are saying. It's actually made me think about how I view things.

I was at a Derek Webb show a few months back. His "core" fans were people "like me" who did share his views and thoughts on the Church in America.

Afterword I purposfuly overheard a conversation involving people "unlike me" [late 30sish early 40sish] discussing what he had to say. [He talks much more than sings] They were completly offended by his political statements and basically everything he has to say.

I almost brought that up in my comment but you did it for me in essence. What I was meaning in a larger scope beyond Derek Webb is like you said. Is "our" way the only "right" way? Derek explores that... while I'm not always in agreement with his conclusions. He and you oftentimes make me stop to question what I believe and why? In a good sense... to actually make me think past the "this is what my parents told me so this is right" to the skin and bones of my Faith.

For that I thank you..... and Derek

Blogger Ross Peterson said...

I totally agree, greed is bad. Except for Swedish Gummy Fish-I must have them all

Blogger Todd Wright said...

How did the punishment go? When the balls were taken away, did another fit ensue?

Anonymous bs said...

i miss you and your brain.

Blogger Shaun Groves said...

Who are you? Are you hitting on me?

Blogger marianne said...

Good Dad. Bath Duty (cleaning multiple kids I should add), Dirty Work (didn't leave the sentencing up to Mom), and Funny (doesn't need an explanation). Good Dad. :-)

Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

Good Lord are kids not scared of getting sucked down the drain anymore? I was terrified of that till I was 5! Shaun I marvel at your discipline. My sister and I never got the luxury of being told why what we were doing was bad it was either mom's black belt or dad's huge hard calloused hand on our rears that really let us know that we had crossed "the line". Although, for me spankings were a good thing because I'd more than likely be in jail now if it weren't for them. However, sometimes I wonder if the way my parents disciplined me some how scarred or distorted the relationship I now have with them. Hmm...who knows.

PS: Gresham looks like Cameron one of my mom's kindergarten kids.

Blogger Shaun Groves said...

I learned from good parents like my own and Brian. I suck actually - hardest job I've ever had. But watching experts helps.


Blogger marianne said...

Do you really think you suck at it?

I have that thought at times. Usually when I'm overwhelmed or when they are being wretched and I'm tired. Or when I feel guilty.

Anyway, the greedy bath lesson was killer. He's really too cute to get in trouble.


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