Tuesday, May 19, 2015

i will be sparky

chalk art by shannon 

hey friends.  i have had a couple of comments from some folks recently about why i haven't been blogging as much.  even if no one was asking, i must admit that i sometimes wrestle with some inner voice which tells me that i'm not doing enough, not contributing enough, not writing enough, not being enough.

to which i say "bull pucky."

it's true, i haven't been writing as frequently here as i have at times in the past, but further reflection on the reasons for that lack of writing has led me to remember that being a dad is a full-time occupation.  i am in the wonderful throes of helping three boys become young men, and it takes just about every bit of energy that i have.  and i get it wrong at least as often (if not more) than i get it right.  and then i have to undo, or redo, and that takes even more energy.

i went with jackson's class to the metropolitan museum of art on thursday.  my so-very-well-behaved son (i was so proud of him) was over the moon with excitement, and he took hundreds of pictures of every artifact we came upon, without even stopping to really see what he was taking a picture of.  at one point he was just running around, like the proverbial chicken-with-its-head-cut-off, taking pictures of everything he could see.

believe me, there are times along the journey when i feel that i simply must record these moments, be they magnificent or mundane, but before i have a chance to jot them down, i am forced to deal with some catastrophe (one of them is using the other's pencil, or perhaps they can't figure out who's turn it is to choose a book for bedtime reading, resulting in tears and overt demonstrations of defiance), and the moment is gone as quickly and unexpectedly as it arrived (just now it popped into my head that at lunch yesterday, quinton told me - out of the blue - that tinkerbell's middle name is "disney junior.").  so, i try and take pictures and jot down what i can; i try and tell the stories to as many people as i can; and i try to learn from these boys as much as i possibly can, because they are changing every single day, and i don't want to miss a thing.  and sometimes, because of work - or life - i must miss some things.

but i refuse to miss it because i "need to" scroll through facebook, only to "like" the latest viral video featuring an irresistibly cute kitten.  i refuse to miss it because i am full of myself enough to believe that my presence is critical at every single church meeting and event.  i even refuse to miss it because i am too busy trying to document and archive it, a dad with his head cut off, just taking thousands of pictures and missing the moment.  i will record what i can, but i will not sacrifice being present to my family, in every moment and every way that i can.

we just finished reading "danny, the champion of the world" to the kids at bedtime.  it is a great story by roal dahl (charlie and the chocolate factory, james and the giant peach, etc.), and the very end of the book has a message which dahl addresses to children, but i suspect was written more for any adults who may read the book.  he says, "when you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: a stodgy parent is no fun at all.  what a child wants and deserves is a parent who is sparky"

so if you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks in a row, just know that we're a bit busy reading stories and brushing teeth and fixing catastrophes and going on adventures and trying to be as sparky as possible.

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