Tag Archives: Parents

Counting Down to Christmas

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Parents count the days until Christmas differently than regular people. Are no golden rings, calling birds, pipers, or even a pear tree (sans leaves, since it is winter). Instead, parents way fo counting down to Christmas includes:

Days needed to get a personalized Christmas stocking from (name of mail order retailer here).

The day for the Christmas band/orchestra/choir concert.

The day that the kids need to bring canned food for the needy or a gift for Toys for Tots.

The day you panic and run to the corner drugstore to print out family pictures to send with the Christmas cards.

The day you should have gotten the photos.

The day you should have sent out Christmas cards.

The day you panic and run to the post office to get stamps for the Christmas cards. (And out of 47 styles of special Christmas stamps, they have only one left—the one you used last year, and the year before that, and—you know).

The day you make a list for next year, which you promptly misplace.

Parents—people with strength, courage, humor–and a totally warped perception of reality, which is how they survive.

Life’s Surprises

My son was due back from Louisiana where he visited family and saw LSU football up close and personal.

The good news is he returned with an LSU stocking cap, LSU hoodie, LSU headphones, LSU socks and, of course an LSU collar and leash for the dog.

The bad news is that his flight – due to arrive just after midnight (why in the world did I pick that flight?) was diverted to an airport an hour and a half away. I drove over to meet him; the airline was offering bus travel on a “first come – first served basis.” I didn’t like that idea; first, I would have had to pick him up at 3:00 AM at the local ariport. Second, his mother – the most wonderful person in the world (in my humble opinion) would ask me, “What in the world were you thinking?”

Given the fog, and the hour, I decided my son and I would just spend the night and drive back in the morning.

While there, I received a call from my brother and sister that our father is not doing well. In a nutshell, he’s waiting for God to call him home. I expect to head that way in the next few days after they sort things out. My sister is hoping to let him go back to his apartment with hospice care. If so, I plan on staying there with him until he leaves us.

It’s different, but then again, not different to be with my son and to be with my father when they need me.

Heavenly Father, guide me.

Men and Women are Different

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Men and women are different. This has nothing to do with equality – it’s just a fact.

Women’s magazines stress the importance of men helping with the “hard k” sounding things – cleaning, cooking and kids. I have yet to see an article saying something like, “Bond with your husband by installing new wax seals for your toilets,” or “Love on a rooftop while replacing shingles.”

Women have a thing for bags and shoes. People have tried to explain this to me over the years. I nodded and smiled, but the vacant stare made it obvious that I just didn’t get it.

One told me that the popularity of shoes is due to the fact that the size remains the same.

Whatever.

I try to do my share of the “hard k” things on behalf of my family. When my wife and I first met, I was a single parent, so am fully qualified on laundry – including ironing and replacing buttons, and cook pretty well, if I do say so myself.

The other side of the equation is that guys like “hard g” sounding things – gadgets, grills, guns and guitars. Gadgets include tools, special purpose cooking utensils, and anything that uses fuel. I have a collection of guitars – acoustic, electric, six string, and twelve string. I have a Taylor that is my “church acoustic,” and yes, I have a “church electric, too. My everyday guitar sits next to my chair in the family room.

It’s a guy thing. At least I don’t need shoes to match each guitar.

Like I said, men and women are different.

Family First, Of Course

My mind has been elsewhere because my mother went out to get the Sunday paper and fell, resulting in a serious head injury. She required neurosurgery and has been comatose since, so I headed north to see what I can do to help.

My parents have always been exceptionally close, so this is as hard, if not harder on my father.

Every family goes through these challenges. We lose the ones we love. We may lose them for days or weeks to an illness or perhaps a deployment or we may lose them to death. The price of love is the absence we feel when we lose those we love for even a little while.

On the other hand, love is something we all seek and cherish. It is truly a great gift from God perhaps better described as a tiny glimpse of God’s presence and love for us.

My nephew, when he visited her in the hospital kept saying, “But she just fell!” Just falling doesn’t seem like it would be serious, especially when we’re young.  Having worked in healthcare for many years, I know that sometimes the outcome seems disporportionate to the trauma, but when it’s someone in your own family, it seems just that much more incredible.

I actually have several articles already written, but they’re on my desktop computer back home while I’m using my laptop in Toledo. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience and I’ll take all the prayers that are offered.