Tag Archives: parenting

Children Love A Good Story

 Just the other day, I was sitting down for dinner with my wife and two children.  After prayer, my son, Michael immediately jumped in with, “Daddy, I want you talk about day.”  This is his four-year-old expression for asking me how my day went. It’s just a little ritual that has developed naturally over the last year.  We each take turns going around the table describing all the big events of our day and how they affected us.  The kiddos mostly talk about toys and tv shows.  Mommy and Daddy mostly talk about errands and …

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Expressions of Love

I was taking a walk around my neighborhood with my two daughters just last night, as we frequently do when the weather is good, right before bed.  Some days the two girls want to go along at more or less the same pace, and other days, not so much. This was one of those other days. Talia, the 17-month old, was stopping frequently, and we were getting to the point where I was ready to pick her up and carry her to get home before we were terribly late in meeting her bed time. As …

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Wedding Jitters

And these were jitters at an international level. The last weekend in May we celebrated on our farm the marriage of our oldest son Dan to his Japanese wife, Erika.  The two of them, her parents and brother (none of whom speak more than a few words of English), flew in from Tokyo for a few days, and some 70 others then came  to wish the new couple the very best. In the end it was a beautiful celebration, and is our trademark…. different. Not only was it a “homegrown” gala – family and friends …

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NFP is for Real Men

I recently attended a lecture that discussed just how healthy the practice of natural family planning is for a couple.  The speakers showed the strong correlation between the use of natural birth regulation methods and divorce-proof marriages.  They discussed the benefits of improved communication, improved understanding of a wife’s psychology as it relates to her body, the deepening sense of respect men develop for their wives, and the value of mutually delayed gratification.  All in all, I thought it was a pretty compelling case. I almost fell out of my chair later that day when …

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Satan’s Steak Company

I was babysitting our kids outside the other day. I’m a better parent than I am babysitter. In the midst of the chaos happening about the yard, I noticed a white pickup come to screeching halt in front of our house. The bed of the truck was filled with an odd cooler attachment bearing the logo of a distant steak company, one of those distant warehouses that will overnight steaks to your front door.  Immediately three men got out of the cab – let’s pause there. Any time three grown men get out of those …

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Who Do You Play For?

While at a swim meet one summer evening a few years ago, I saw a t-shirt that read, “If I found out I only had 1 day to live, I’d spend it at a swim meet, because they last FOREVER.”  As a veteran of more swim meets than I can count, I know all too well the truth of that shirt.  You can safely say the same thing about track meets (again, from first-hand knowledge) and wrestling meets (so I’ve been told).   Isn’t it amazing what we parents will sit through to watch our …

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They Grow Up Just Right

 “Kids grow up too fast.”   With two of them running around my life, I think this is the common advice I receive from the passerby.    “Enjoy it!  They grow up too fast.”    These lines are interesting for a couple of reasons.  First, they indicate a problem:  Kids growing up too fast.  This seems to be a universal problem.  Second, we see a “solution” for the fact of kids growing up too fast – enjoying them, enjoying the time while they are young.    “Enjoying it” is not necessarily bad advice.  Ecclesiastes draws …

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A Living Gospel

 Several years ago, when my eldest daugther was an infant, I purchased the revised edition of Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers for my family (which I now highly recommend for everyone). As I perused through the plethora of ritual blessings, thematic scripture readings, and prayers for every occasion, I noticed a ritual blessing for members of a household, traditionally set on the Epiphany. So, on the feast day, I gathered my wife and 11 week old baby girl around the Christmas tree to pray this blessing and begin a new family tradition. As I began to read …

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6 Hours of Torture

The shooting deaths of 6 and 7 year-old children and adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday made a grown man cry.  I have come to understand that with age you not only open your heart to your own pain – you also begin to empathize with the pain of others.  Not too long ago, I was present to a family who had lost two young boys in a drowning accident.  They and I continue to mourn and grieve the loss of their lives.  I remember waiting in the hospital hours upon hours …

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The Role of a Father

My 4-year old daughter is in love with Belle, the Disney princess from Beauty and the Beast.  Ever since she watched the movie, she has wanted to imitate her. She dressed up like her for Halloween (and I donned a Beast costume as well), and we had a lovely dance to end our evening of Halloween festivities last month. She also likes to play the part of Belle.  Recently, we were outside playing with my other 9-month old daughter when my four-year old said she wanted to play “Beauty and the Beast.”  “I am Belle”, …

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