Wednesday, September 20, 2017

An Escalating Problem

Asher is able to climb out of his crib.  Usually this means it's time for a big boy bed, but he's not ready for that level of freedom.  Or maybe he is?  Even though this is our third go-round, I haven't a clue what to do.  Ah, parenting...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Paradox of Wrongdoing

To offer my kids a modicum of privacy, this post blurs some details.  But I want to explore a potential paradox of wrongdoing that maybe you can shed some light for me on.  

With apologies to Aaron, I do want to let you know this post is about him.  Not to embarrass him, but because I think this is something where his gender is a relevant piece of information.

He has a habit of not brushing his teeth at night and then lying about it.  Both are bad but I think you would agree that the latter is worse.  He just can't bring himself to tell the truth when caught in a lie, because he hates getting in trouble, not realizing that by lying he is getting into further trouble.  

Not brushing your teeth is not that big a deal, but lying obviously is, because it creates a pattern that can lead to even worse wrongdoing.  But it seems the more he lies and gets caught, the more he feels he has to lie because he knows he should know better.

It is good that he feels awful when he is caught.  That is called guilt, and it comes from having a conscience.  And each time this happens, we let him know that, and we remind him that if he comes clean, we can and will forgive him.  Every single time, no matter how many times.  And that ultimately, he needs to understand that he needs to fess up to God, and that God can and will forgive him.  Every single time, no matter how many times.   

I don't think anything I've just said is controversial.  By and large, we would say that as parents we can and do forgive our kids time and again.  This is part of being a loving parent.  

And yet I also feel it's important for Aaron to learn another, seemingly contradictory lesson, and that is that the critical importance of self-control.  When Asher gets older, I will instill this same lesson, which I suppose applies to girls too but here I am thinking of boys.  And that is that they need to be careful because lack of self-control can cause you do to something in the heat of the moment that is irreversible.  You can harm someone or yourself, or break the law, or do any number of rash and impulsive things that saying sorry won't cover up, and that you may spend your whole life regretting or event paying the penalty for.  

The reason I think of this as particularly relevant for boys rather than girls is that it seems that boys struggle more with self-control.  And so I want to instill in Aaron an ability to control himself, so that in the heat of the moment he doesn't do something that he cannot undo and that he will live to regret.  

And such is the paradox of wrongdoing.  Love and forgiveness can and do cover a multitude of sins.  But there is such a thing as one careless and stupid act producing a tragic and unchangeable outcome.  O God, help our boys to have self-control, and to receive your forgiveness too. 

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Back to School

And...just like that, summer is over.  The kids are back to school and to their extra-curriculars.  7th grade is crucial to Jada getting into a good high school, and she knows it and is bearing down.  5th grade is a big step up from 4th grade for Aaron, but he is a diligent worker so we are optomistic.  As for the extra-curriculars, the logistics will be daunting, but we've been here before.  It's go time!

Monday, September 04, 2017

Home from West Coast

Jada, Aaron, and I are back from our quick West Coast trip.  Blog posts have been back-posted so enjoy the details and pics!  We certainly enjoyed the trip!

West Coast Swing, Day 8

Our hotel was near some brush fires, so close that you could smell the smoke.  Hopefully no one harmed.  Our hotel was also near the airport, so close that we actually walked to the terminal - a first in my life!  We had a layover in Phoenix and soon enough we were home.

I enjoyed my time with Jada and Aaron, and am glad we got to cram in as much as we did.  We packed light and came home mostly with souvenirs.  But now it's back to work and school!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

West Coast Swing, Day 7

Last full day of vacation, where does the time go?  I luxuriated in a morning run along Mission Bay near our hotel, and then did laundry and packed up before we headed to Sea World for the day.  It was hot but bearable, and we delighted in rides, shows, and exhibits.  We quit off in enough time to hoof it all the way back to Burbank to check back in at the hotel we had stayed at just three nights before.  As it is literally across the street from the airport, we could return the rental car, walk back to the hotel, and call it a night.  Tomorrow, we will trudge back to the airport for the flight home.  Bye bye vacay, and bye bye summer!

Saturday, September 02, 2017

West Coast Swing, Day 6

I got a swim and bike in at the local Y before rousting the kids up for breakfast and then San Diego Zoo.  It was 90+ degrees and there were many unshaded parts to this 10-acre park, but no is so far and away the best zoo in the country that we slogged through it.  We were there for almost six hours and still didn't see everything.  Good times.  Back to the hotel and A/C and dinner and cable.  Ah, vacation!