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Gifts that just keep on giving

Because of my children, I have received many gifts over the years.

And we’re not talking actual presents, but little things like the joy of raising them, teaching them and watching them succeed at something that you can’t put a price on. But because it’s me, I can put a price on many things, because I am a penny-pincher.

And not only do I put a price on them, but I tell my kids the price, especially if it is something they end up breaking in the end.

Sometimes, to drive my point home, I will overvalue what they’ve broken — or will eventually break — but I just tell them that is my “new math.”

What I can tell you is that because of my kids, I also have developed some very bad habits that, for no other reason than to write this column, I will blame on them.

First of all, I could put this all on the Disney Corp., but I won’t because they could sue me and my kids cannot sue dear old dad. Because of the movie “Toy Story,” I constantly find myself worrying about inanimate objects at home like their toys. When they were little, they constantly would forget to put away their things, which would cause me to worry. I could not go to bed unless all the toys were matched up, which meant I was making noise late into the morning, which is when I got home … long after everyone had gone to bed.

Because of “Toy Story,” I would worry these things would be afraid, or depressed, if they didn’t have another toy next to them. A lot of what ifs — crazy what ifs. I think this made my wife both afraid and depressed when it came to her husband. I believe it also made her think, “What if I had just said no when he asked me out?”

And toys weren’t the only thing. My daughters — and they still do this today — do not care if they wear matching socks. When I would help my wife fold laundry, I would find tons of singular socks that were not paired up.

I would then spend any free time going through their room, looking for the socks to match them up. I even created an orphanage for them, a wicker basket that I put them in until I could find a matching pair.

Ask my wife — I’m serious. There is much rejoicing by me when two socks are brought together. Ask my kids — they think it’s absolutely one of the weirdest things they’ve seen me do, and as you know from this column, I do some pretty strange things.

Somebody told me to just throw them away. I cannot do that. What if I do that, and then one shows up, stuck to something in my boys’ rooms? That could push me over the edge.

You see, if they just kept their socks together — and cared — their dad wouldn’t be nuts. And it affects me at work, too, because I am known to occasionally drive my co-workers crazy, too. It makes me say asinine things.

Recently, someone sent in a photo of a giant fish that they caught while ice fishing somewhere in the area. Several people kept asking me what kind of fish it was. They would suggest this species, and then another species, and I was just flabbergasted by the names they were throwing at me. I told them I didn’t see any tartar sauce on it, so it didn’t look like anything I would recognize.

And that’s how I am. I’m the only columnist who could start a story about a Pixar movie, then head into the laundry room before reminiscing about my favorite trips to Long John Silvers. Go figure.

Mirror Sports Writer Scott Franco writes a monthly column to the Mirror.

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