6 Years a Dad…

As I peeked around the corner I saw him singing loudly and proudly while sitting atop his unkempt bed. He strummed along on my old guitar that I never took the time to learn how to play and made up lyrics to a song about God watching us from heaven. His pitch isn’t right. His strumming and rhythm are made up. His lyrics are simple. But I would listen to his song for hours on end over any other artist in the world.  I cherish this memory I have of my first child….my son…Christian.

All of my children have a special place in my heart for various reasons. Christian? My only son. My mini-me. My buddy. And forever the child that made me a Dad! No matter how many children I have, Christian will always be the one that made me a father. 6 years ago today the little man blessed our lives immensely!

I remember Christian’s first ride home from the hospital and worrying about jostling him around in his babyseat as I was driving home. I remember all of his hair he was born with slowly falling out when he was 6 months old. I remember him learning to walk and falling down so many times. I remember tossing him wiffle balls and watching a little 2 year old smack them through the air with his miniature red bat. I remember his wonderful laugh and smile as they have gone from baby giggles and dimples to gut laughs and cheesy grins. I remember watching a 2 and 3 year old little boy slowly get more acquainted with his twin little sisters, and hoping he will someday realize what it means to treat them like ladies. I remember watching him as a 4 year old boy as he treated his new, infant baby sister with the care and grace he didn’t know how to show to his other sisters. I remember dropping him off at basketball camp when he had just turned 5, and then realizing this was the first time we had taken and left him someplace with people that weren’t family. I remember taking him to pre-school. I remember watching him sound out letters and beginning to read words. I remember him being excited when I told him the Orioles were winning, and being said when they were losing. I remember….

A dying father is laying in his hospital bed talking to his only son that feels he was a disappointment. The dying father is searching for the words that will make his son understand the unconditional love that has encompassed their relationship. The dad looks at him and says, “I have forgotten almost every day of my life…….But I remember every, single one of yours.” I hope and pray that the next 6 years are full of great memories from a great boy that loves and challenges us every day!

–SH

 

Christian

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Clean up…Clean up…Clean up…the Story of Parenthood…

I was reminded recently of a story from my fathering past. (Next month I’ll be a dad for 6 years now…so I guess I can refer to my early fathering days. :) )

It was a couple of months after the twins, Selah and Jadah, were born, so Christian was a little older than 2 and sleeping in a “big” bed because his sisters had booted him out of the crib. Rachel and I were already in bed, but not asleep yet, and we hear him start yelling, “I spit Mommy! I spit!” We both spring up wondering why is our little boy yelling at us that he’s spitting in bed!

We quickly discovered that a 2 year olds limited vocabulary defines spitting as vomiting! We entered his room and smelled it before we could see it. Then we saw it…..EVERYWHERE. All over him and his sheets. In a dazzling maneuver of tag team mastery, Rachel swooped up the boy to take him to the bathroom while I quickly took off his sheets and anything that was soiled to get them changed out. I then took over bath duties as Rachel got out new sheets to put on his bed.

After much consoling, we finally got him settled back down and in bed. What a night!

Then…..less than 30 minutes later again we hear, “I spit, I spit!” Yep…it was equally as dispersed all over him and his sheets again. Cue the same dance of changing sheets, clothes, and bathing boy.

Again, we console and comfort and then get him back to sleep.

15 minutes later….we hear crying….and, “I spit again mommy!” At this point, I think Christian felt a little sorry for his now sleep deprived young parents because his “spit” was only on his sheets. This time he spared his 3rd pair of pajamas. Being out of sheets at this point, Christian got to sleep on top of “Daddy’s” Redskins blanket for the night. And finally…we slept. (Praise Jesus that Selah and Jadah were sleeping through the night at this point.)

Today is Mother’s Day. At minimum, on one day a year we reflect on the phenomenon that is a “Mom.” I care deeply about Fatherhood, but we know that Motherhood makes the world go ‘round. Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Kings are raised by Mothers. Mothers have the unthankful jobs of cleaning, re-cleaning, and cleaning up again all while steering their children toward their full potential.

In the Christian “spitting” story I was merely a helping hand to Rachel’s calm control of the situation. On a daily basis I am amazed by the consistent love, discipline, and patience that she shows our children. Hopefully more than 1 day a year I can remember to honor her (and my mom) in the continual sacrifice they give, have given, and will continue to give in the name of Motherhood.

 

Pretty Mama!

Pretty Mama!

God bless Moms!

 

–SH

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Pushing on a Pull Door…

push-the-pull-door

You know you’ve done it. At some time or another we all have. You push and push for a full 3 or 4 seconds until you see the big, bold “PULL” sign on the door. (Cue the sideways glances to see if anybody saw you do it.) Here’s a video to make us all feel a little better:

 

 

Every once and a while I hear some song lyrics or a phrase or saying that I think cuts down deep into the human condition. The title of this post is actually a song by For King & Country. Here’s the song with lyrics:

 

I feel like at least once a week being a dad is like pushing on a pull door. I keep pushing forward trying to make things happen with my kids. Trying to make them behave in a certain manor, and nothing works! But when I stop and look, I realize I’ve been pushing when I need to be pulling. Does that make sense? Have you ever felt that way?

It’s like the times that Christian is instructed to do something and quickly reacts with a harsh “No!”–and my “pushing response” is to yell right back at him. After this doesn’t work or get the action I desire, I stop and realize that a good “pulling response” is to handle the situation calmly and precisely.

In the middle of this song they state:

“You made a plan

You think you’re in control

Yeah, you’re flying

But you’re way too high to fall

And hey man

Check around the corner

Because it’s coming

Here’s your wakeup call.”

So many times I think I’m in complete control of what’s going on with my kids. Then…boom! I react or am presented with a new and unique situation. I get the wakeup call that allows me the realization that I need to continually be on my toes. Continually seeking outside, Divine help to lead these children I’ve been blessed with. The beginning of the song alludes to this help, the fact that God is in control and can always reverse parenting tragedies into golden moments.

Every child is different. Some need pushed and some need pulled. What I need to do as a dad is continue to work within this intentional mindset of knowing when to push and when to pull. It usually helps to take a minute and read the sign!

 

–SH

 

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