A Dad’s Life, Friday Night

Long week in the rear-view, some challenges, some big news, some fun, all in the wake.

This morning’s random breakfast, left-over kid’s dinner plus a cheese stick.

A Dad’s Breakfast. Fortified for the day.

Twelve hours later, whirlwind workday done, lots of learning — always good — and glad the day, the week is done.

And then a Friday Night after breakfast-for-dinner, it’s couch time with The Three, and a little PBS Kids, streaming to the flat screen.

And…

WILD KRATTS!

*HALLOWEEN* WILD KRATTS —

And into the weekend we go…one last question from my son before bed, “What do dogs eat…”, a classic stall tactic.

And then it’s quiet. Just the nightlight splashing gently into the bedroom,

and a few rustles from the kids’ room, and…GOOD.

Rise Above the Blah

Yesterday it was blah; aware of the inertia, the drag, fighting to steady, to focus, to go forward. Mulled down.

Then our son had an allergic reaction to something he ate. His stomach was upset; he felt uneven, unsettled. He was anxious, uneasy. He was sick a couple of times, emptying things out.

Through all this things come into quick focus; the blah falls away.

We helped him through, helped him clean up, settle down.

It’s a moment to rise. These are the moments we’re called to, parents helping their kids through the struggle; it pushes our own struggles aside.

Rise above yourself; rise above the blah. Somehow I did. You can too.

Do It Anyway

I’ve thought a lot lately about anxiety, worry, and fear. In fact, it’s been a topic I return again and again to most all of my life.

I wonder how to respond, cope, battle, persevere through these feelings; to not let them consume, devour, destroy; instead, to transcend.

I’ve lived with these emotions the whole of my life; at different times, different levels, and different powers, these feelings have had.

In the end we can’t let them win; we have to thrive anyway. Thrive, and Live.

Each day. Forward. Live.

Lyrics Post: “One”

This song by U2, from a long while back. They’ve got a lot of good songs; this is one of my favorites.

“One”

“Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same
Will it make it easier on you now
You got someone to blame
You say

One love
One life
When it’s one need in the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you don’t care for it

Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well, it’s

Too late
Tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We’re one, but we’re not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other
One

Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come to raise the dead
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it’s all I got

We’re one but we’re not the same
Well we hurt each other
Then we do it again

You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can’t be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
Sisters
Brothers

One life
But we’re not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other

One
One”

1991. Writers: Larry Mullen, David Evans, Paul Hewson, Adam Clayton.

Lights Out!

I’m a little too young to have been an active listener to “Lights Out!”, the famous early horror radio show from the 1930’s and 40’s, but I recall my folks talking about it. And I do remember Bill Cosby talking about it in his famous bit “Chicken Heart.” I listened to hat bit over and over, and laughed anew every time. That funny story made my heart sing!

This piece isn’t about that radio show, however. It’s about learning good habits, including turning the lights off when not in active use. It’s a little about how we might attempt to teach our kids these values, how we might instill in them the lofty and also practical benefit of such a habit as turning the light off.

I find myself walking around the house pretty well constantly turning lights off on rooms where no one is.

It’s a simple lesson. Turn off the light if no one’s in the room. Learn that lesson, and apply it regularly. That same mindset can be applied to leaving the water running, and monitoring the thermostat. Using natural resources carefully, thoughtfully, that’s the underlying ideal I’d like our kids to absorb, and practice every day.

Walking around the kitchen this morning, I noticed a piece of broken tortilla chip; when I saw it I remembered seeing it yesterday. At the time I thought, “Let’s see if anyone else picks it up. No one did. So this morning, I picked it up and threw it away. There was a bit of wrapper next to it, too. That went to the trash as well.

That’s another fundamental ideal. If you see garbage, pick it up and throw it away. This approach might well apply only in your home, but on that planet. How much cleaner would things be, how much healthier would nature be, if everyone did that? And the pre-step of course too: Don’t litter.

So the turning off the lights, picking up around the house, and everything in between; do a little more, or at least, do what you should do. I know it’s often more complicated, but maybe it shouldn’t be, influencing our kids. Just do what you should do.

[Disclaimer: I suspect some reading this piece might object to even mentioning Bill Cosby in a positive way, given his falling from grace and crimes for which he’s been convicted. That said, he was also one of the great comedians and entertainers of his era. I do not condone in any way his behavior otherwise, Full Stop.]

Love for Others…YES

From Francis yesterday:

“Our love for others, for who they are, moves us to seek the best for their lives.

Only by cultivating this way of relating to one another will we make possible a social friendship that excludes no one and a fraternity that is open to all.

#FratelliTutti”

And then today:

“It is not enough to accept the invitation to follow the Lord; one must be open to a journey of conversion, which changes the heart.

The garment of mercy, which God offers us unceasingly, is the free gift of his love; it is grace.

#GospelOfTheDay”

Amen, AMEN.

‘‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season, a playful way, to talk about a certain day, a certain way to be, to think, to be, most often ‘round Christmas we might hear it, say.

But another time comes to mind, a thoughtful stint of when we might find,

better insight as to how we might be, better for you, better for me.

A time to remember and honor those who have gone, of those whom we’ve loved, over, above,

And not just the times and the way we felt, but the power and the magic within us has dwelt,

And still there today, each and every day, if we think, and believe it’s within us, and for us, and is us, felt in a blink.

Practicing Moods

“Don’t touch my tiger. This is my ‘Don’t Touch Me Tiger.’”

This rather mean phrase one of our kids spoke to another kid, her sibling.

Oh, our three beautiful children. They can be rough on each other; like all kids, I suspect.

Rather than react outwardly to this comment one made to another I — must be getting a little more wise — paused and considered things more deeply, and more broadly.

Maybe they were practicing being mean to each other. Maybe they were testing how one can be mean, what’s acceptable, what’s not.

And then another time, more recently, one of our kids was in a foul mood to start the day; at the same time, the other two were in particularly good moods that same morning.

My normal “modus operandi” would have been to engage, try to cheer up, not let her alone; instead, I checked in with her and when she rebuked me with silence, I let her alone. I’m finally realizing after many years of parenting, sometimes it’s best, maybe often times, to let your kids sort things out on their own if they can.

I’m sure I’ve read that in parenting books before, but the light has finally turned on and is still shining now, making it more clear how to handle some of those more challenging, difficult situations.

Later in the day that same daughter had her witch hat on and was in a markedly better mood. Miraculous. She turned it around on her own. Good lesson for me.

Let them practice their moods. Let them figure out how to cope with their emotions, and get to a better place on their own. That’s how it is for adults, that’s how it is in the world. We all would do better to think that way more often.

And sometimes putting on a witch hat helps too.