Thanksgiving was fun. All of our kids were home along with new spouses and friends.
Our meal preparations were lively as the bustle around the kitchen was full of laughter and stories and conversation and an overabundance of excellent cooks.
We moved the dining room table into the living room, added the leaves, pushed the breakfast table next to it and seated fourteen all together. It was delightful. That was Thursday.
Saturday, we planned to make a family picture. Family pictures tend to become aggravating events–worth it, but aggravating.
This year’s picture will probably be memorialized among my clan as the year that dad (that’s me) displayed my own lack of self-control. If the saying is true that “You can tell the size of a man by the size of the things that upset him,” then I was the smallest one in the picture. (more…)
John Medina, in his new book, Brain Rules for Baby, says that the research shows that four-year-olds lie about once every two hours and six-year olds once every ninety minutes. Some of these studies were done inside their homes, not in a clinic.
The Bible indicates that every man, woman, and child is prone to lie. (Only Jesus did not lie, but he did tell some whopping big truths!)
So what do we do about lying? (more…)
Will, my son, is coming home this week for the wedding of a friend, Will Hightower. My son Will is traveling with his new bride of six months. Maria is a blessing and we look forward to their visit. As Patricia and I were discussing over dinner with Judith and Danny, I was struck by this thought. Will is married. He has a mate!
This struck me so poignantly because of Will’s “life verse.” Each of our children has a life verse
It is almost like teenagers worship fun. They crave it. They plan for it. They discuss it. They look forward to it. They reminisce about it. What is strange to me is that I don’t remember my early teen years as being fun as much as being stressful.
Mark Hoffman, in his book The Joshua Principle, describes his adolescence this way:
“I remember my own adolescence as an unwelcome change from my happy childhood. I did not invite it into my life. Suddenly, all of my friends seemed to go crazy. Every move, every action I did was scrutinized by my friends and peers. It became obvious that many of my former friends no longer considered me quite as ‘cool’ as before . I was apparently somewhat behind the learning curve of adolescent ‘cool and acceptable behavior.’ They would correct the way I looked, stood, spoke, what I wore and most of all how I acted around girls. There were very rigid rules for everything. In addition to this, my eyesight started to go bad, pimples would sometimes erupt on my face, and I had a hard time controlling my moods, sometimes lashing out at my parents.”
What’s fun about that?
Growing up is not easy and teens sense it. Something in them wants to retain the carefree fun of childhood and something in them is calling them to grow up. They just don’t know how.
So, they make a lot of mistakes, most of them harmless and insignificant–yet to us adults, maybe a little irritating. They speak too loud, laugh at any mention of body fluids, dress in order to fit in with somebody. The next day they are exceedingly quiet, refuse to laugh or smile at all about anything, and desire to be alone.
What is going on?
They are (more…)
It was a beautiful summer day, and all of our kids were playing outside: Anna, Patrick, William, and Judith. It was one of those “in and out” days, hot and humid in the deep south. They were coming in for something to drink on and off all day. In and out. In and out.
Judith, just three at the time, was speaking to me and trying to tell me something that was important to her. While she was speaking, Patrick rushed in, interrupted, and caused her to lose her train of thought.
“He erased me!” (more…)