Tag Archives: Parent

Metamorphosis

Monarch Butterfly Cocoon, courtesy Wikipedia: User: Umbris

Monarch Butterfly Cocoon, courtesy Wikipedia: User: Umbris

It’s hard not to be fascinated by insects. I will stop to look at a walking leaf or a praying mantis; butterflies always catch my attention, as do dragon flies. Perhaps the most fascinating insects are those that pupate and undergo metamorphosis. Imagine one day being a caterpillar, spinning a cocoon, taking a long nap and then emerging as a butterfly.

I recently realized that humans have a similar process. Babies are born, demand attention, like to be held, make noise and break things. They grow, start school, but the parents’ role stays pretty much the same.

Then, one day, that cute little kid becomes a teenager.

It’s unfair to expect teenagers to spin a cocoon, since they can’t even pick up their socks, but they are able to compensate. Teenagers’ cocoon is their bedroom into which they sequester themselves for several years. It’s not quite as constant as insect larvae; you can spot teenagers—or at least the backs of teenagers—as they root around in the refrigerator or the pantry. Occasionally you’ll see the front of a teenager, immediately behind the outstretched hand with the palm up.

I’ve examined cocoons, but really don’t know what it’s like in one, but I imagine it gets progressively less sanitary over time, just like teenagers’ rooms. The biggest difference is that teenagers’ cocoons have televisions, smartphones, computers or video games. However, the long sequestration is similar among the various species.

There is another similarity. Someday I know that my teenagers will emerge from their cocoons more resplendent than even the most beautiful butterfly. Then, like the butterfly, they’ll stretch their wings and fly away.

Soccer Tournament Weekend

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If you’re a new parent, or expect to be a parent someday, here is some information you will need.

In America kids play soccer. In the rest of the world, kids play football, sometimes called futbol. They’re all the same.

Don’t confuse this with American football. American football players, each wear more protective gear than an entire Marine battalion in combat; they “play” for about 15 seconds by banging into one another, usually ending up in a pile on the ground. After that there’s a three minute pause while officials take measurements and the teams reposition themselves for the next play. If it’s professional, college, or whatever and televised add several additional minutes for advertisements. The football is occasionally kicked, but more often it is thrown by hand.

American football players are generally from America, often recruited from American colleges where they played as highly paid amateurs. After playing American football for a few years, most players suffer enough head trauma so as to forget whatever they learned in college, the fact that they ever went to college, and the fact that they aren’t supposed to drool.

American football is divided into four quarters, each of which lasts 15 minutes, but the timer is stopped at the end of certain plays, when a team calls for a time out, for station identification and commercials, or for review of instant replays. The last five minutes of the fourth quarter usually lasts several hours.

In soccer, the players also wear protective gear—shin guards. The game is divided into two halves; for adults, each half lasts 45 minutes. The players play for the entire half, running approximately 250 miles during the average game. Except in cases of extremely serious injury (e.g. missing limb, sucking chest wound), the halves last 45 minutes. In case of rain, snow, or extreme heat, the halves last 45 minutes. Lightning is the one exception; lightning strikes tend to take out entire teams, the spectators, and tend to ruin the expensive soccer balls.

Professional soccer players are international—this means that they are not necessarily from the country where they play soccer. They may not speak the local language, or even knew that the football club, city, or country where they play existed before arriving. Because of such issues, hand signals are used for official rulings and severe penalties are communicated by colored cards. Yellow means, “You better watch it, Bub.” Red means “Yer outta here, and your team can’t send in a substitute.”

Most American kids do play soccer but don’t go on to play professional soccer the way their American football counterparts do. Professional soccer is not as profitable because after supporting children’s soccer, soccer parents cannot afford to attend professional sports matches or live in decent neighborhoods. In fact, if soccer uniforms, travel, and gas for the car were allowed to be deducted for tax purposes, most soccer families would qualify for food stamps.

But if their kids go to college, they’ll remember that they went, and much of what they learned, even if that material in Economics 101 evaporated shortly after the final exam was completed.

Quickstart Guide for New Parents

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Congratulations on starting your family. As a new parent you may be concerned about properly raising your child. There’s no need to worry, all of the documentation required is included with your new baby.

This Quickstart Guide will give you key information on raising your family until you have time to read the entire manual.

Your oldest child will act as a practice model. It is expected that you will be more attentive, more restrictive and generally more paranoid about this child. It is normal to check on a first baby every few minutes when sleeping to make sure he/she’s breathing. You can expect to favor healthy, possibly organic-locally grown and home pureed foods. You may decide to restrict television to educational channels or prohibit it entirely. Every bump and minor bruise will cause you to rush to the emergency room.

However, subsequent children will require less attention. For your second or later child you will permit them to eat whatever they want, watch television 23 hours a day, and only missing limbs or arterial blood spurts will capture your attention. In addition, these younger children come equipped with the highly developed ability to irritate your oldest child and cause him/her to misbehave badly. This sibling interaction will keep the entire family involved for hours.

It’s normal that you and your spouse will each have very specific ideas as to how the child should be raised. Each of you will expect the other to adapt on issues from cultural mores, manners, education, and hobbies right down to details, such as the correct way to fold clothes. Don’t worry, because you’re both wrong.

You may have received the optional “advice” feature for your child. Ideally this is provided through a maiden aunt who will be happy to provide unsolicited advice on how children should be raised and direction on all manner of parenting issues.

Again, this is only a Quickstart Guide. Remember to read the entire Child Rearing Handbook, which will save you much time and anguish. The Child Rearing Handbook is contained in the same envelope as your child’s warranty card, and receipt in case you decide to return or exchange the child. These items can be found conveniently located fg hu6th heiemn ded.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact us 1-8hg-stf-xd#@ or at http://www.&^hsg463nbgm.com/hasythr

Once again, congratulations on starting your family.

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

tenThe Ten Commandments are a pretty good guide for life, even if you’re not a believer.  The adultery and coveting things are pretty much ignored these days, but it’s hard to argue that either should be encouraged.

When I was a kid, I thought the fourth commandment (yes, I know that there are two numbering schemes) was aimed at us youngsters. “Honor thy father and thy mother” seemed to say “Do your chores! You’re your bedroom clean! Don’t sass your parents!”

As I’ve gotten older, though I realized there was far more to it. When you read the Ten Commandments, first are the commandments referring to God Himself. The very next one is to honor your parents. How could it be more important than “Thou shalt not steal” and Thou shalt not commit murder”? Those are pretty nasty things, especially murder.

But why such an emphasis on honoring our parents when growing up is pretty much defined as the point at which we move away from our parents?

I’ve come to believe that the commandment is not meant for when we’re in grade school, but for later. Just as God created us, looks after us and loves us, so it is with our parents. Those of us who are parents know how, no matter how old are children are, we still worry, we still advise, we still care. We love them at least as much, if not more, than we did when they were little. This is probably true of all of our parents.

When we were children, we had little choice about respecting our parents. However, once we’re grown that changes. We no longer live under their roof and their rules. We often no longer live in the same region, much less the same town. It may take an effort just to stay in touch with them.

Honoring our parents is an active requirement, not avoidance of a negative.

Do something in that spirit.

Why Have Kids?

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The other day my younger son asked me why I decided to have kids.

Tough question.

Once upon a time kids were an economic benefit. Kids, especially boys, provided a work force for the farm or the herd. Why pay for workers when you can just make them?

However, once we left the farm and moved to modern cities and suburbs, economically that advantage disappeared.

So why DID I decide to have kids?

Actually, when I was younger, I was scared that I’d have a handicapped child. My oldest, in fact, is profoundly handicapped. Interestingly, just before she was born I finished my 24 months in Radiologic Technology, and was trained and more importantly mentally prepared for many of the things that her care would require. Especially the yucky stuff.

Funny how that worked out – you’d think some higher power was involved.

My older son was in high school and I was raising him as a single parent when I met my wife. I thought that my daddy days were coming to a close. Instead we married and decided to have a family.

Funny how THAT worked out – you’d think some higher power was involved.

Which got me thinking – the reason my wife and I decided to have kids was because we wanted to share. Share what we had, but more importantly to share our love.

I guess that desire to share is why God decided to make us – for someone to share with. He set the example for us to follow.

And that’s why we had kids.