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The REAL Story Behind The Short-Shorts, by Scott Mackintosh

I did something spontaneous a week ago today. I am shocked how fast things can spread via social media. And even more surprised how fast the story has changed in just ONE week. Within 24 hours of my wife and children posting THIS photo ….Imagewe were being told it had gone viral. My kids were using terms an old dad like me is not familiar with, such as; 70,000 notes on tumblr, favorited on twitter, re-tweated, shared etc… Friends were reporting they were seeing it posted on Buzzfeed, Redneck sites and other random sites, most have the story twisted (because of how my daughter worded it on her own tumblr blog). Thus the story ……

This is the REAL story behind the short-shorts!

I know the world has varying degrees of what is modest and what is not when it comes to clothing.  In our family we have pretty definite modesty guidelines; No mid-drift or low-cut shirts, no short-shorts, short skirts and we even go as far as saying no sleeveless shirts unless playing sports or on the beach. Having raised four daughters and three sons, I’m a bit protective. Some may call me old fashion, but I call it “A Dad who loves his daughters” (and sons too) I know some of you may be rolling your eyes and that’s okay, my daughter does it all the time.

I’m a firm believer that the way we dress sends messages about us, and it influences the way we and others act. (okay okay – I’m the first to admit I look like a redneck and I may say “crick” instead of “creek”) But that’s beside the point. My teenage daughter day after day continues to wear clothing that I, as her father, feel is inappropriate and immodest. Her mother and I feel the same about the importance of dressing modest. With that said, let’s move onto the night of the happening …….

In an effort to try to spend time with just the family we reserve our Monday evenings for just that. On this particular Monday, we decided to go out to eat (something we had not done in a very long time) and made plans for after dinner to use our pass-of-all passes to go miniature golfing at Trafalga, a nearby “fun center”.  I heard my wife ask our daughter if she would please change into some longer shorts before leaving. She said “NO!”  Instead of turning her response and disrespectful attitude into a major battle, I decided to make a “small” statement on how her short-shorts maybe aren’t as “cute” as she thinks!

I ran into my bedroom as the family was loading into the car. I grabbed some scissors and cut some old worn out pants into a set of short-shorts with the ends of the pockets hanging out the bottom. There was only about an inch of material below the crotch of the shorts. To add frosting to the cake, I looked down and noticed a shirt that my older daughter had given me for Father’s Day. At the time I thought “where the heck would I ever wear this?” Wow! I just found the perfect moment!  I was a bit worried about going through with this, but felt that it was “OKAY” to make this statement in the privacy of our own home. I was certain that when my daughter saw me, that would be as far as it would have to go to make the point.

As I walked out to the car I could see my daughter and my son in the back seat with their heads down focused on their phones…needless to say they didn’t even notice. I stood by the open driver’s side door for a minute and even spoke to them, but their faces stayed focused on their phones, they didn’t even glance up. They had no clue of how I was dressed. I then walked about 50 feet in front of the car to meet my wife as she was walking back from feeding our animals. (hmmm….something’s wrong with this picture. Why was my wife feeding the animals and not one of our teens? Great question.)

My wife said, “What did they think? I told her that they hadn’t even noticed, but I was sure that they had by now. As I returned to the car, it was evident that their faces were still glued to their phones and had no idea of the spectacle that stood before them. Well, I had a decision to make. This little plotted scheme did not get noticed, so my thinking that this would end at home, quickly changed to… “I guess we’re taking it to the road now.”

As we were driving and nearly to the Hibachi House restaurant, I heard a camera sound. I looked to see what had just happened at the same time that my wife was being addressed by my children saying; “Why are you taking a picture of Dad?” Immediately my son said “Oh my gosh, look at dad!” My daughter then gave her disgusted look and said, “Why are you dressed like that?” followed by “Oh well, I don’t care.”

As we entered the restaurant we were greeted by many funny looking stares from a slightly small crowd. “Wow, at least it is a small group that I am making a fool of myself in front of” I thought. Then realized we knew two of the people. They laughed and said they couldn’t wait to tell our son-in-law what they had just seen. I gave a quick explanation. They laughed. My son, daughter and wife took a couple of pictures and posted them to social media. We ate dinner and it wasn’t a big deal.

My daughter didn’t seem to care however like I had hoped she would, so the question to myself was, “Do I let it fail or take it to the next level?” Take it to the next level of course!

“OK, let’s go miniature golfing” I said. The family laughed that I might just go through with that we had planned to do before dressing like a spectacle.

As we arrived to the small amusement park, we were met with many stares and pointing fingers as I walked through the lobby and to the miniature golf area. I tried to keep up with my daughter who had expressed that it didn’t bother her, but was not about to let me stay very close to her as we walked through the crowded room. Once we got our clubs and were waiting in line for our turn to start, a couple of girls were “acting” like one was taking a picture of the other when in fact they were lining themselves up for a “Kodak Moment” …of Me! My daughter then being bold said, “If you want a picture of him, just ask, I am sure he won’t mind.” They were embarrassed and continued to act like that wasn’t what they were doing.

Amongst all of the pointing and strange looks, we had a wonderful night of miniature golf and then headed for Artic Circle for milk shakes. As I pulled into a stall, my daughter said, “Uh, no! We are NOT going in!” I said “Sure we are, let’s go!” “No!” She said, “Let’s go through the drive up.”  We went in, but she stayed in the car. She had had enough and did not want to go through any further embarrassment.

There was no “Dad I get it” or “Dad you’re the best…. thanks for that awesome lesson.” ☺ I don’t think my object lesson of “modest is hottest” made the statement I had intended. But no matter if social media gets the story mixed up and out of sorts, my daughter will always know that her dad loves her and cares about her enough to make a fool out of himself.

UPDATE 9/5/13:  KSL News picked up the story and interviewed Scott LIVE on Browser 5.0.  Click here to watch the news segment. 

Living The Dream….

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For as long as I can remember I dreamt of marrying the man of my dreams and raising a large family.  I was the youngest of five children and I always felt I got ripped off because I didn’t have younger siblings, therefore I grew up with the desire to have TEN kids so the “me” in the family would have older AND younger siblings.  When I gave birth to child number 7, I told my husband it felt like TEN so I was counting it!  That was kind of tongue-n-cheek, but seriously, my family felt complete when Skye, was born.  My husband said it best “Skye’s the limit.”  Yep, I was living the dream….great husband, a stay-at-home-mom raising a large family.

My dream of raising “perfect” children was also a dream come true!….my children are perfectly normal, perfectly challenged, perfectly unique, perfectly independent, perfectly stubborn and perfectly mine AND I love them more than life itself.  They are the reason I color my hair, fight winkles, don’t get enough sleep……and “most” days I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.  Hit me up on a “mom you don’t understand, I hate you” teenage-rage-kind-of-day and I’ll negotiate a child or two with you.

hmmm…my daughter just called ….flat tire….gotta go rescue her!  Of course these things only happen when my husband is out-of-town, but it’s one of those DOable challenges.

I love my family that has grown to four in-laws and one grandson. I am thankful for the many challenges and trials that keep us on our toes….we are a better family because of the bumps in the road.  God seems to know just what we need to get us out of our comfort zone and to learn what WE didn’t think we needed to learn.  I take a deep breath because I know just-around-the-corner is another challenge to strengthen our ability to understand, forgive, show compassion, empathy and patience.

The lesson at the end of the day is always the same….LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY.   That part is a piece of cake…..Easy. Done.

The Power of One

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Yesterday someone asked me to tell them the story behind my daughter Shandi shaving her head. It brought back the memories of the love the community had for the Thompson family, which quickly spread to the world when Sharon Osbourne aired the story on her show.  Shandi, touched the hearts of many, as she spear headed a fundraiser for the Thompson family to help pay for cancer treatment for their two young daughters fighting Cancer.

The Secret Word

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Have you read the book Aspire; Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power Of Words, by Kevin Hall?  It’s a MUST read. It was life changing book for me.  Chapter one divulges a word I had never heard before, Kevin calls it the “Secret Word” which upon hearing it became my new favorite word!  What’s the word?  Hold on, I will tell you in a minute!

Each chapter focuses on a new word and Kevin shares stories of inspiring men and women who exemplify that word.  One of my favorite stories was about Dr. Viktor Frankl, a man who “survived the horrors and inhumanity of the Nazi concentration camps as prisoner Number 119,104.”   Viktor wrote a book in nine days following his ordeal, entitled “Man’s Search for Meaning.”  In his book he writes:  “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  Viktor chose to be a VICTOR not a Victim!

I was inspired by Viktor to be more conscious of “My Attitude” – how I react in any given situation.

Okay, now to my new FAVORITE word, the Word that has made me more conscience of the words I use and how I treat others is…………drum roll…………. “GENSHAI” which means “Never treat another person in a manner that would make them feel small……and that includes YOURSELF!”  Why did this hit me so hard?   I had heard it my whole life, just worded differently. My mother drilled “Do unto others as you want them to do unto you”  “Love one another”   “Be kind to everyone”  but for some reason “in a manner that would make them FEEL small”  sunk deep.

I posted the word Genshai and its meaning on a sticky note on my bathroom mirror.   It’s a reminder to choose my words wisely.  Being kind to strangers and friends is comes naturally, but for some reason I can get inpatient with those I love the most…my family.  How could that be possible?  ….too often having a clean house, tidy bedrooms, over shadows the fact that my kids are doing good things…..they aren’t out doing drugs and alcohol or sleeping around.  How did  “pick up after yourself” become more important than “I walked away from a potentially bad situation today”?

Back in the day when I had five teens living at home at the same time,  I could get a little crazy trying to keep some kind of order in my home.  I was constantly nagging someone to clean their room, clean their bathroom, get out of bed, get their chores done, etc…  Mornings were the worst.  My boys did high school sports and were usually up and gone to practice before the girls were even awake.  That left THREE teenage, tired, moody girls fighting over the bathroom and who was wearing what of theirs without asking was a normal occurrence.  The good thing is that usually by the time they came home from school they were best friends.  If I were to go back and do it all again, I would have closed their bedroom doors more often so that I couldn’t see their mess….ignored the over flowing garbage can in their bathroom AND would have hugged and praised them more for the Good things they were doing and the bad things they were NOT doing.

Okay I’ve gotten a little side tracked.  Here’s a couple of examples of how taking to heart the word Genshai helped me become a more patient mom:  My youngest boy Skye is usually an early riser during the school year….he jumps out of bed and goes through the morning routine before catching the bus for school without any nagging or “coaching” (that’s a nicer sounding word) from me.  One morning he was just not getting out of bed. I knew he had gotten to bed late and was now paying the price.  THE OLD ME would have said, “GET OUT OF BED!  I’m sorry you chose to go to bed late. NOW GET UP!  If you MISS the bus you will have to WALK to school!”   Those were words that came out of my mouth on occasion when I had the 4-5 teens living at home….and several times they WALKED the two miles to school…one time on cold snowy winter.  Lesson learned, but “Bad Mom Award”.   But on this morning, the word Genshai was at the forefront and I said, “Skye, would you like to sleep longer and I will drive you to school?”  He sat up a bit and looked at me strangely then thanked me and laid back down.  To him those words meant he could sleep another half hour….and thats a big deal to a teen.  As I walked away from his room I felt REALLY good, unlike the raunchy grouchy feeling I would feel after I yelled at my child and punished them for something so trivial.

Another morning I opened Skye’s door and said “Get up Skye, Today is going to be the BEST day of your Life and  YOU don’t want to miss a single second of it”   He sat up, again looked at me funny, and said “Why?”  I answered,”  Because YOU are going to be a part of it! You are going to walk down the halls and smile at people you have never smiled at before….you are going to say “Hi” to people you have never said hi to before and YOU are going to make them feel good about themselves and in return you will feel better about yourself.  AND when you crawl back into bed tonight you are going to say “Today was a Great Day!”   He just smiled and had the look of “you are weird mom” on his face.    A half hour later as I was driving my daughter Myley to school…wait…DRIVING?….Yes, because she attends a HS that is not in our boundaries, therefore no bus to ride:(  As I was pulling up to the front of the school I said, “Myley today is going to be the BEST day of your life!”  She turned to me and said, “I know! I heard you telling Skye this morning”  We laughed as she got out of the car and I said “enJOY the Best day of your life!”   YEP! it was a lot nicer feeling parting ways that morning!  Lesson Learned…..Be NICE! “Good Mom Award”

Is my life all a bed of roses now that I have digested the MEANING of the word GENSHAI?….NO, LIFE HAPPENS and I still have to make a conscious decision of how I will respond……it’s up to ME and no one else….I choose my attitude!  I’m really making an effort to NEVER make another person feel SMALL, and that decision has made me a HaPpIeR person!

I Discovered WordPress Blogging

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The Fam, minus a new son-in-law and grandson

Hello World!  This is my first WordPress blog.  In fact it is my first post on my first blog:)

I love technology…though most of the time it is not a fan of me, but I am eager to learn.  Technology is not so patient….it quickly moves forward, leaving me behind, but I’m trying to hop on the wagon and keep up the best I can!

Some of my family and friends ask, “Aren’t you afraid to be out there in the open…to be so public?”  Absolutely NOT!  Life is a journey to be enJOYed…..you only get ONE shot….I don’t want to hide, I want to play BIG!  When it is all said and done, I want to have made a difference in this World…………….and blog about it:)

I am 48 years old, so most likely I’m more than half way through my life.  Yikes…I better get out of my comfort zone and move my feet!  My greatest loves are my family…my husband of 28 years in Sept my Seven children and three sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law and one adorable grandson.  Yep!  Life has been mostly good to me.  I wouldn’t trade my trials (well a few of them I would:)  because they have made me who I am.  Raising seven kids has been a wonderful adventure…..having five in six years made it more of an adventure….five in elementary school together and five teens living in the house at one time were very memorable times…..many stories to blog about later:)  My two cabooses Myley 17 and Skye 14….soon to be 15 are my only kids still at home.  The house is quieter, less laundry, less garbage and the realization that they grow up too fast.

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