For the past couple of weeks, I have been slammed with work and family. When I have been home and do get to catch some news, it is in small fragments and my television viewing has been rather limited to whatever I can squeeze in between video-on-demand reruns of “Barney” and “Caillou”. Both of those shows are my 33-month-old’s favorites and anyone with fairly young children knows exactly to what I refer. When I do get to watch television shows I like these days, I am holding a baby bottle to my six-week-old’s mouth and hoping that I don’t encounter projective spit up afterwards. Yes, life has been extremely hectic, frustrating, often stretches my patience to the limits, I am grateful for it all.
I guess that this is all part of “cocooning”, as I call it. I ran across this to some extent when we had our last child. The affairs of life and family keep parents of young children busy. I don’t know if I am glad that I had to wait until I was over 40 until my firstborn child came into the world or not. I certainly have a different perspective on life and what is important in my 40’s than I did in my 20’s. In some areas I find myself infinitely more patient but in others still lacking. If there is one thing that I have learned is that having children, especially a toddler that is a Ritalin candidate, is that I am certainly only human.
I shared with the pastor of a Garner church recently only a fraction of what I had on my mind. I was literally in tears at his father’s funeral, not because I knew his dad well, but because he did. I lamented for his loss but also that I could never have a conversation with my own father while growing up and even into my adult life. He suffered a stroke while still younger than I am now, and I was only a toddler. His fine motor skills and some memory were affected, but his speech and temperament suffered most of all. See, my pastor friend is the son of a pastor, and had the good fortune of being able to get counsel from his dad on pastoring and on life in general. If I ever wanted anything in my youth, it was to be able to look to my own dad as a source of wisdom. I would have traded anything to have been able to have had a normal father-son conversation just once in my life.
For years, I vowed never to be like my dad was in how he treated other people. When I find myself getting angry and frustrated, I often reflect on how I was hollered and cussed at incessantly and don’t want to be that way to my boys or bride. With three boys in the house now, like I said, I am reminded that I am only human. I don’t condone child abuse, but I understand it. My dad was physically, emotionally, and spiritually sick. I don’t condone the way he acted, but I understand it.
For years, I have collected books on theology and history, hoping to share them and knowledge with my progeny. I have also intended to sit and read many of the books I have obtained. I used to be a voracious reader but have had little free time in which to enjoy that simple thing in recent years. I consider myself somewhat reasonably autodidactic, but I could always stand to do more. Fortunately, I now have a somewhat decent reference library for when I do need it. Hopefully some of the investment I am trying to make into the next generation will be of some avail.
I was never raised with any real political or religious opinions in the home, but I hope to change the course of instruction on those topics in my own home. See, political and religious views were considered excessively private. The name Jesus Christ was never used in a positive manner in our house, and God had a last name that began with D. Other than that, I was told nothing about politics but was angrily told that all Catholic priests were homosexuals and that all television preachers were just money grubbing scumbags. Now that I have been a born again Christian for over twenty years, I tend to think the latter to be more accurate than the former.
I chuckle at the comment about priests for two reasons. First, I heard just within the past few days that the homosexual brother of the man who told me that passed away at the age of 80. I wish I could have been able to see Uncle Raymond again before he died.
I have known a bunch of Catholic priests over the years, and though I personally have doctrinal issues with Catholicism, I have met some good priests and some bad ones. Though there have been recent scandals in the Catholic Church over the issue of child molestation, it reminds me that they, too, are human. I certainly am not condoning their sin, but I understand dealing with sin in one’s own life. That is the whole reason I still need Jesus. I am, after all, only human.