Daddy's Coming Honey!



The Obligatory Post-Easter Devotional Blog on New Spring and New Life

I dyed Easter eggs. I’m still a kid. You probably already knew that. Easter is a time when we celebrate Jesus coming out of the tomb. Or his followers somehow drugged two guards to sleep, rolled away an enormous stone, stole the body of Jesus the carpenter, and‑forget it. I can’t keep typing that without laughing.

Easter is a special time for all children. Our child will hatch soon. Life hatches, even after its put out. Before worship Sunday I see a boy named Isaiah coloring a picture of the angel speaking to the women outside the empty tomb. He explains, “The Green goblin threw a pumpkin at the angel and now he’s all covered in black stuff, and the angel’s gonna die.” See what happens when we mix pagan mythology with the Gospel? Angels die from gourd-shaped toxic grenades.

I would like to spend this note telling you the tales of James Wolfe, the world’s most renowned parenting mentor. I in no way am being guilted into writing this. James Wolfe did not approach me and tell me he was disappointed that I did not praise his constant demonstrations of parenting skill and granted opportunities for me to observe them. I am a volunteer, surprise sponsor of the Battle Hymn of the Wolfe-Father (If you don’t get the reference to “the Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, forget it).

Other parents have their own ways of dealing with their childrne’s shenanigans, whether it be…

…little Derek digging for nasal gems in Bible class and telling us he’s going to stick what he found in his belly button (a trick he didn’t learn from me)…

…little Isaiah disappearing for a while, only for another adult to approach his father with, “your son is naked under the table in the foyer” (he was changing into his Iron Man costume)…

…little Myra-Grace following Carrie around and begging her to touch her belly where the baby is and not wanting to let go (and you can tell her parents never grow tired of her talking about it)…

…little Vivian setting the building on fire and giving us that harmless “Gilly” grin (I don’t make these things up, ever)…

…little Tripp crawling like a Commando across the floor (eventually his laugh gives him away)…

…little what’s-his-face grinning over the dessert table before the common meal and then sprinkling it with three sneezes in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (the child hath committed blast-phlegmy)…

…or little Sam changing his sister’s name to “Lollipop” and, after being told she did not behave, telling her, “it’s okay, maybe you can behave tomorrow”.

Sam is James Wolfe’s kid and, of course, this post is really about him, and I’m doing this because he never once asked me to brag about his parenting advice in my blog. So it’ll be a complete surprise. Poor guy never gives himself enough credit.

Here are some nuggets of truth, Easter Eggs, if you will, that will last for generations, word-for-word:

*”You don’t spank your kid as a punishment. You spank your kid to get their attention. If you spank your kid as a punishment you’re either gonna wanna spank ‘em more when they’re in more trouble or they’ll just grow to tough it out and not learn anything. You spank your kid to wake them up so that when you tell them they did wrong and give them a real punishment, like a time out, it’ll stick with ‘em”

*”When I was in high school, my Dad got me a car, and I scratched it up one day and pulled into the driveway and he saw it and I didn’t say anything. That look on my dad’s face ‑my dad could have gotten mad at me and scolded me, but I felt so guilty looking at my dad’s face and how I thought he was going to cry because of how careless I was about the car and my respect for him. Seeing my dad in that state affected me more than it would if he had just yelled at me. That teaches you a lot about your relationship with God.”

*”Sam had picked up Bo’s food bowl and was banging it on the floor because he liked the noise it made. I quickly snapped, “Sam, NO!” and he immediately froze and started crying. I didn’t do anything but firmly say no. But he started crying and what he did was get up and run towards me. He didn’t run away from me or cower or say ‘please don’t spank me’. He ran towards me because in that moment he was afraid his daddy might stop loving him because he was so angry. Nothing could ever make me stop loving him, but in his mind that terrified him the most. That teaches you a lot about your relationship with God.”

*”If Lydia starts crying because she fell on her bum while she was talking just let her cry it out.”

*”No, Sam, you can’t marry your sister.”

*”If my son grows up and says that his Dad was a faithful Christian all his life because he always went to church and didn’t do bad things, I would consider that failing as a parent.”

So, you’re welcome, James. I was gonna do this entry on my own dad’s fathering methods—how he let me hide my face in his jacket during sermons when I was three, how he whipped the fire out of me with my own paddle when the rubber ball snapped off and broke a vase, how he planned with me to read the Bible through in a year when I was little and the two of us nearly made it but he said it was okay that we didn’t, how he made me call up a kid and apologize to him after throwing a soccer ball at his head, how he taught me how to drive, how he drove me 8 hours to college in the middle of the week after I had my recuperated from gall bladder surgery. But no, you wanted your own space. Now I have to scoot my dad over til another week. My kid could be born by then.

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