Category Archives: Sports

Dad beards….

Dad Beards….

Beards are in style right now. If you haven’t noticed that, you apparently haven’t watched any sports James_Harden_Beard Jayson_werth_beard,

movies brad-pitt-beard ryan_gosling_beard,

or walked outside recently.hipster_beard

Beards used to be for only certain groups (Amish!)Amish_beard

but now they’re more widely accepted than a grown man in skinny jeans. Conan_skinny jeans

 

But what about beards on dads?

I have chosen to have a “sort of” beard for almost three years now. Simon

A “sort of” beard is a beard that stays very short and gets shaved to the shortest length of the hair trimmers about every two weeks. It never becomes a true, thick beard, but there’s always a little something there. I grew this when I started teaching college students to make myself look enough their senior to be their professor. Some people can’t picture me without it. 

But as a dad with a beard I regularly run into a major problem. The problem? Beards can be “scratchy” or “itchy” in the words of my chidders. Whenever I shave my beard close with hair trimmers, it then remains scratchy for a few days before it’s to the soft stage again. I’ve never had the long beard nor kissed a man with one (I’ve never kissed a man without the beard either), but my assumption is that it’s soft and not scratchy.

In the movie Saving Mr. Banks, Travers Robert Goff, as played by Colin Farrel, is the father of P.L. Travers, the famous author of the Mary Poppins books. He is depicted as a dreamer and drunk in the movie, but he absolutely adores and dotes on his children. In a conversation with his young daughter he asks, “Do you know why daddies shave their beards?” After receiving a puzzled look, he smiles at her and says, “Daddies shave their beards so they can give their children kisses.”

Beards are in fashion, but hopefully our choice to grow them does not impede us dads from receiving our God-given right of kisses from our children!

Dad’s—may you either keep your beards shaved off or long enough not to be “scratchy” so you may never miss the immense blessing of your child’s loving kiss.

–SH

For your viewing pleasure, some of the best beards on the market:

bestbeards bestbeards2 bestbeards3

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Be Uncommon….

When I talk to my six year old son about deeper issues in life, I don’t necessarily think it’s all going to sink in. I just hope and pray that over time a little bit of what I have to say can seep through the stubborn mind he inherited from me and find its way into the tender heart he inherited from his mother. Just a little bit.

I recently read an article about a college basketball player for the University of Michigan. Austin Hatch has survived two plane crashes, the second one taking the life of his father. His father used to tell him to strive to be an uncommon man. Uncommon men live life against the grain. I really like that idea.

One night, after Christian had experienced a very common six year old breakdown, I was tucking him in to bed and asked him:

“Do you know what common means buddy?”

An understandably perplexed looking little boy answered, “No.”

“Common is normal. If you are common you are just like everybody else. If you do something in a common way, you do it the way anybody else would do it. Uncommon is being unique or different. Doing something uncommon means you do it in a special way. Do you want to be common or uncommon buddy?”

An excited “uncommon!” came out of his mouth. Maybe he could understand deeper concepts.

“The way you reacted tonight was how a common six year old boy reacts when they don’t get what they want. I want you to be uncommon and to do things new and unique. Can we work on being uncommon men together?”

He thinks for a second, looks at me, and says, “I think I can help you with that daddy.”

In the middle of last summer, tragedy struck our family with the mighty force of a gale wind. This tragedy is the main reason I haven’t written anything in six months. Someday I might be able to actually write about what happened.

In the aftermath of that tragedy and the desire to raise a boy to become an uncommon man, I wonder if I have lived an example of uncommonness through this turmoil. Am I making the intentional decisions to live differently as a father? To live against the grain and instead of saying I want to make time for my family, actually doing it? To love my wife and kids with the selfless love that God asks of us?

Some people may say that being normal or common is ok. My response is that they have a narrow understanding of themselves and others. Everyone is unique. I truly believe when the Psalmist writes in Psalm 139 that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Fathers. Mothers. You are not common. You can live and raise your children to be uncommon. To have an impact on this world in unique, positive, and beautiful ways. Will you challenge them to do this? Will you challenge them to take the necessary steps to be uncommon? Take those steps and we can raise a remarkably uncommon generation.

 

–SH

 

I LOVE being a dad to these crazy kids!

I LOVE being a dad to these crazy kids!

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Please bless the orphans and the orioles…

In a recent post (My Prince Daddy) I wrote about the unique experience and warm feelings I get when putting my twin girls to bed. Well, after I’m finished putting them to bed, I get to go over to Christian’s room and settle him down.

The routine with him is very similar. We have already read books with the girls so we turn the lights off and sing a few songs together. With Christian the singing of songs MUST be accompanied by the rubbing of his back. After being enchanted by You are my Sunshine, Jesus Loves Me, and Amazing Grace (My chains are gone) we’re ready to pray before he needs to try to fall asleep.

We have been praying with Christian since before he could talk. And then once he was able to talk we invited him to join in and sometimes repeat a whole prayer after us. Around 2 ½ years old I had the “brilliant” idea of having him pray every night the words “please bless all the orphans.” I wanted to give him the opportunity to pray for other kids, so I explained what an orphan is and why we need to pray for them.

When we started adding this phrase to the end of our nightly prayers, we were living in Maryland and it was the beginning of baseball season in the Spring. Being a lifetime, hardcore Baltimore Orioles fan, I had been talking about them a lot recently. Then one night it happened. As I was finishing the prayer I said, “and please bless…” leaving a moment of silence so Christian could finish with, “all the orphans.” But on this night without a moment’s hesitation Christian stated, “all the orphans and all the orioles!” A bright smile rose to this daddy’s face.

For those of you who are already parents, you know the type of smile that crosses your face in that moment. Is it pure joy? Is it pure love for your child? I don’t know, but it’s a feeling I have only felt in the role of father. For Christian it was a very simple act, the words orphans and orioles start with the same sound. So I guess he thought we should ask God to bless both of them.

Did the Orioles make the playoffs last season for the first time in 15 years because we were praying for them every night? Maybe. Probably not. But that’s not the lesson I want to communicate to my son every night. I want to communicate the need to go to God in prayer. I want to communicate that we need to pray for those less fortunate than ourselves. I want to communicate that it’s ok to like sports and have things you’re passion about. And I greatly desire to communicate that his daddy is willing to kneel by his bed every night to sing to him, rub his back, and ask God to guide and bless our lives.

May we all take the time to intentionally communicate to our children what is truly important in this life.

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