One thing I’ve learned: Kids don’t come with an instruction manual. When my son was born, I looked at the doctor and said “Are the instructions in there as well?” Neither he nor my wife found that all too funny. I think I was actually being serious. There’s nothing in this world that could have prepared me for being a parent.
I was always told in high school that algebra would be useful when I grew up. Algebra doesn’t tell you how to hold your ground when you’re son refuses to eat one mandarin orange slice. Algebra never taught me to resist the urge to go all Mad Max and the Thurnderdome on my kids, throwing them in the basement, two will enter, one will leave. And telling them to go to their room until their 18 doesn’t work all to well either.
And no matter how many books you find, algebra doesn’t prepare you for potty training. Worst than that, it doesn’t prepare you to deal with people who are perfect parents and remind you of such as they give you advice after advice after advice of how to raise your kids such as doing potty training. Sorry, but I’m not about to let my daughter run around the house naked to get used to going potty. I really don’t want to clean that all up.
What I never could figure out is how come my two kids can be at each others throats one minute–pushing and fighting and arguing–then getting along and being good to each other the next. And then after that, they’re way too quiet conspiring to take over the world! No, seriously, I think my son said that and then added that evil scientist laugh (muwhahahahaha) afterward.
I was told that my kids would have different personalities. What I wasn’t told was that they would have different personalities but both very similar to mine. My daughter is strong willed, obstinate and cunning–I don’t think even duct tape can keep her at bay. My son is silver tongued, can haggle like you wouldn’t believe, nice, gentle and can throw a temper tantrum like you wouldn’t believe. Yeah, these are my kids.
I’ve always wanted like a spiritual mentor. Someone who could help me be a good father, one who modles Christ to my kids. One who shows my kids what it means to be a Godly person, a Godly man, a man who loves Jesus. And I work hard on it. And my kids (much like the snow blower) has been teaching me to be more Christlike. Because unlike that blasted snow blower (which has been taken into the John Deere shop for now, thank goodness)my kids can and WILL repeat what I say.
Why can’t I have an Obi-wan Kenobi of parenting to come in and teach me the Jedi mind trick that gets my son to eat his veggies and fruit? Why can’t I get the help of an Obi-Wan Kenobi who can help me reach out with the force and get my daughter to stop jumping off the couch like it’s a high dive at the pool. Of course, Obi-Wan did raise Anikan after all. One of my favorite lines from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones was after flying through Corisant traffic, Obi-Wan and Anikan come to a restaurant. Obi-Wan is addressing the driving skills of his padiwan saying “I fear someday you will be the death of me.” Oh, how prophetic. He raised Anikan who became Darth Vader who killed Obi-Wan in the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope. Maybe I shouldn’t have him for parenting advice after all.
So, but by the grace of God, go I in parenting..Lord help me be Christ to my kids…please..and if you’re trying to teach me something.. uncle