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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mamaw's Rules

Dear Offspring,
It is often part of my Dad responsibilities to school you in some of the harsher realities of life. You need to understand that just because Mamaw lets you do it, does not mean that the rest of the world will grant you such privilege. In fact, that will rarely be the case. In the real world it is not usually acceptable to wear pajamas all day and eat chips for breakfast; even if Mamaw has blessed it.
Your Loving Dad

Monday, May 5, 2014

Discernment

Dear Offspring,
My prayer for you today is that one day God may grant you the gift of discernment. Not the deeply spiritual gift that allows you to glimpse and know the Will of God. While that would indeed be a blessing, I am speaking of something more basic. I am simply seeking for you the ability to realize and fully comprehend when I have reached the end of my sanity, and nothing remains but rage, suffering, and gnashing of teeth. For surely it is your lack of discernment that would lead you to believe that bedtime is the most appropriate time to develop amnesia when it comes to the evening routine you have known for years.
Your Loving Dad

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Prayer

Dear Offspring,
I want to thank you for all you have taught me about prayer. As your mother carried each of you before you were born, I learned to pray with Hope. At your birth as you entered into this great big world with all the uncertainty of new life, I learned to pray with Love. Countless times in these years as you have each faced difficult times and health struggles, I gave learned to pray with Faith. And as you have learned to push all my buttons, I have learned to pray with Patience. But tonight, as you once again whine about the unfairness of your life, I pray with Fervor, "Lord, please wrap your hands around their mouths before I wrap my hands around their necks."
Your Loving Dad

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sundays

Dear Offspring,
Just in case you were wondering, being the preacher means that Sundays, while Biblical "days of rest," are far from stress free. So after a busy morning at church, the last thing I want to come home to is a house full of stress and anxiety. So help me out with these simple steps. One, do what your mother says ( without question, explanation, complaint or comment). Two, refer to step one as often as necessary. And Three, make sure I never know when you fail at 1 and 2. Denial is usually not acceptable, but on Sundays, consider it mandatory.
Your Loving Dad

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Walmart

Dear Offspring,
Although you apparently doubt it, compared to many children you are well exposed to public spaces. You have traveled internationally. You take regular vacations. You have been to concerts and theatre productions. You also eat in restaurants with table cloths and table service. So why do you feel the need, whenever we go to Walmart, to act as if we never let you out among decent folk? All home training goes out the window, you get a glazed look in your eyes, and develop a maniacal giggle. Now I do understand the strange power Walmart can have over a person.  I have gone in for something simple and routine, and left 5 hours later feeling drugged and having bought a singing Barney and a 25 pd bag of cat litter simply because it was on sale. Walmart does strange things to folks.  But the next time you get all get crazed, I am gonna leave you for your real parents to find. Besides, think of how much cat litter I can fit into the empty seats. We might even have room to get a cat.
Your Loving Dad

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The In-Between Time

Dear Offspring,
Today is Holy Saturday. We have left behind the drama of Good Friday, but are not yet ready for the celebration of Easter. So we are waiting. I know it seems so much of our life is in these in-between times. We have yet to embrace our new life in Forest, but are constantly surrounded by the reminders that Eupora will soon be our home no longer. I know it is frustrating. I know it is scary. But it is where we are. The important thing is not that we are waiting, but how we wait. We wait together. So we will keep packing (I promise it will not kill you, although I might if you whine about it again!); we will keep cleaning out ( and remember, once it is in the trash bag, it is gone); we will keep struggling with sadness and excitement; and we will wait with all the mixed emotions and anticipation this day deserves. Just remember, we will never wait alone. That is unless I stomp you in the ground because you rolled your eyes at me just one more time.
Your Loving Dad

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Week Miracle

Dear Offspring,
I would like to point out that tonight you witnessed a miracle. You all played outside, happily, without fighting, until the street lights came on and we called you in to dinner. Then you came in laughing, talking, and commenting on how much fun you had together. All of this without electronics, or cat fights. See, it can be done.
Your Loving Dad

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Days Of Youth

Dear Offspring,(at least some of you)
Enjoy the amazing benefits of youth while you can. These days when life is full of the excitement of learning new things, will soon be replaced by days of work and responsibility. These days that are filled with the wonder of possibilities, will soon be replaced by the lessons of realities. And finally, the worries of watching your pants grow too short, will soon be replaced by wondering why they keep getting too small.
Your Loving Dad

 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I Hope You Dance

Dear Youngest Offspring,
Although I will never understand your obsession with Disney's "Teen Beach Movie," I do pray that one day your dancing ability will catch up with your love if music. Thanks for being you!
Your Loving Dad

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Doctor's visit

Dear Offspring,
I want to take this moment to impart a word of wisdom as it comes to mind. Always be nice to the receptionist at the Doctor's office. She owns you.
Your Loving Dad

Monday, April 7, 2014

Perspective

Dear Youngest Offspring,
I want to thank you for the gift of perspective. As we have dealt with all the stress and emotion of our upcoming move during the last few days, it is often easy to overlook some of the simplest, yet most profound realities. When asked how you felt about moving, your response was quite simple... "Is there a pool?" Sometimes we need to be reminded that even during life's transitions, the simple joys are always a constant. Thanks...and yes, we will find a pool."
Your Loving Dad

Friday, April 4, 2014

Life is Like a Bus Trip

Dear Offspring,
At the danger of waxing poetic, your recent field trip has made me reflective. Life is like a field trip. Often times we think we know what to expect from the trip, but often find we journey into the unexpected. There are times when we are uncomfortable with either circumstances or, most often, our inability to control them. There are times when we think we are headed in the right direction, only to find ourselves making the block or missing a turn. There are times when we must rely solely on those we do not know or trust. But in spite of the challenges, or sometimes because of them; the journey will offer unexpected surprises, hidden gifts, laughter, love, and if we are lucky a little grace.So never fear where the road may lead. Just remember to smile and keep a "bus load" of friends with you. And it always helps if some if those friends actually have skills. 
Your Loving Dad

Thursday, April 3, 2014

MY Sons

Dear Oldest Offspring,
There have been many times during these years that I have wondered just who your "real parents" were. I mean if I had not been there to see you draw your first tiny breath, then in those moments when you act like total freaks;
I would be convinced the hospital switched kids. But then there are moments like these, when faced with the option of dinner and a hotel pool with your friends; you choose a quick dinner with me, followed by pajamas and tv in the hotel; that I have no doubt you are my boys.
Your Loving Dad

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bus Trips

Dear Oldest Offspring,
In just a few short hours I am going to get up early, on a day off, to board a bus with you and other 5th and 6th graders for your field trip. And while according to the State of Mississippi, you are all gifted students, the fact remains it is still a bus load of almost junior high kids. And once on this bus in the wee hours of the morning, I know that you will spend the next waking hours engrossed in video games and friends, only speaking to me when you need snacks, to change games, or when it comes time to pay for something. The rest of the time you will be "too cool" for me, and that is OK. Because deep down, I know you are glad that I am there, even though you might not say it. And deep down, though I won't admit it, I wouldn't miss it for the world.
Your Loving Dad

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Talking to Myself

Dear Offspring,
I want to thank you for allowing your mother and I the opportunity to hear ourselves talk. In today's world of busy, noisy chaos; we do not often get the gift of hearing our own voices. So by allowing us to say the same thing over and over and over with no response, we were truly able to hear clearly. At least I am assuming that was your intent rather than choosing to ignore us. And while it was a treat, it is not necessary for you to give this gift again. Actually, I insist you never give it again, although we do appreciate your generous spirits.
Your Loving Dad

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fast Food

Dear Offspring,
When I was growing up eating out was a treat. It was something that only happened rarely, and because your grandfather was not a fan of fast food, that was an even greater rarity. So please don't give me the line that you should have McDonalds at least once a week, because everyone else does. If that is really your world view, then get a job and make those dreams come true.
Your Loving Dad

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Math

Dear Offspring,
I graduated third in my High School class with a 3.967 GPA and a 30 ACT. I am a Magna Cum Laude Honors College graduate from MUW and Magna Cum Laude Graduate with an MDIV from Emory University. I am well read and respected among my peers. I have never felt as inferior, at any time in my life, as I do now after 15 minutes with 5th Grade Math. I am now going to sit in a dark corner and reflect upon how I got this far in life without front-end estimation and communitive property.
Your Loving Dad

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Life Lesson

Dear Offspring,
There are some things in life that cannot be controlled; thus we learn acceptance and trust. So trust me when I say " my house, my money, my rules." 
Your Loving Dad

Friday, March 21, 2014

Smarter than the Average 5th Grader

Dear Offspring,
Today I celebrate your academic accomplishments. One of you scored the highest in the entire 5th grade in all subject areas of the benchmark tests, followed by your brother who placed second to you in science. Yep, all our school kids showed up and showed out, which is to be expected of your DNA. But the greatest celebration today is not just your intellectual prowess,but the affirmation that you might truly be out of my house one day. So here is to greater achievement in the years ahead; to scholarships; to highly paid professions; and to marrying well just in case.
Your Loving Dad

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Doing the Right Thing

Dear Offspring,
I want to start by thanking you for cleaning the playroom while I was gone. I am not crazy enough to think you did it willingly, but I appreciate it nonetheless. Which brings me to my thought for today, namely doing things you don't want to, because they are the right things to do. For instance, when you are whining about what we are having for dinner, there is part of me that wants to just let you starve. But that is when I choose to do the right thing and continue to feed you nonetheless. We'll that, and knowing your grandparents would cause me no end of grief.
Your Loving Dad

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quiet mornings

Dear Offspring,
I have to admit waking up this morning alone in this hotel room was very strange. Although I did not have to get up early, I just naturally did. You will understand as you get older. There was no whining, no fighting, no noise. Just me. And I missed you. So I am choosing to savor the moment, because Lord knows by the time I get home and we all get to bed tonight, I will be missing this room more. But know this, the old sentiment is true. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and God provides brain damage to parents so we forget and thus let you live another day. See ya tonight.
Your Loving Dad

Monday, March 17, 2014

School Mornings

Dear Offspring,
As I gazed down at your peacefully, angelic sleeping forms this morning. I had a moment when I could not help but be grateful for the blessing of such healthy, wonderful children.  Then I woke you for this first day back at school after Spring Break, and you graciously ended my moment of revelry.  It never ceases to amaze me how no amount of bedtime preparation can have us ready for school mornings.  The clothes that you and your mother agreed upon just a few short hours before are now instruments of torture and physical proof that your parents don't care for you.  The backpacks that were so carefully packed with everything you needed are now suddenly missing vital contents that can only be discovered in the final moments before leaving. And let's not forget those pesky shoes that always walk away from where they are supposed to be.  So now that we are back in the groove of school, lets just begin by affirming these facts:  "I am mean," "School is bad,"  and "This is so-unfair."  So feel no further need to expound upon these every morning until summer.  I have lost a few brain cells because of each of you, but I will always remember just how mistreated you are.
Your Loving Dad