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The Positivity of Just 18 Summers

Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

Recently I saw a re-posted rant on Facebook. It complained “Stop telling me I only have eighteen summers.” In it, the author wrote that the slogan judged her and she outlined many negatives the phrase incited in her. She told that she was constantly stressed doing the math and traumatized about how much she may have missed. The writer pointed out the pain the comment would have if someone’s child died before eighteen years. She mentioned parents who might have a problem child or screaming youth they don’t even recognize. In summation she nit-picked that folks were telling her she was a bad mother if she didn’t enjoy every single minute of those eighteen summers. I was saddened by her discouraged state. Not just because I am privileged to be a columnist for the Just 18 Summers on-line parenting...

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Banana Stickers and Big Questions

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 5 comments

Charity bounced into the kitchen. Two braids swung behind her. Her black Italian school uniform covered mismatched pants and shirt. The hidden kaleidoscope of colors was her way of nose-thumbing against the system’s imposed social equality. It was hard to stand out in a standardized sea of black robed children. But not our child. Oh no, Charity was the only one that sported a Chiquita banana sticker stuck on her forehead. “I’m starting a new fad,” she told me. Her blue eyes sparkled. It was hard to appreciate her excitement with that white sticker smack dab in the center. “Oh, I see,” I said, wondering why the only American in the entire school needed to brand herself as different. “Everyone will want a Chiquita banana sticker like mine,” she pointed one finger at it then carefully felt around its...

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Who Taught Him That?

Posted by on Sep 18, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

One day after church, our family joined another for lunch. As we lingered after the meal, I shared a funny story about my young son. I had taken the boys to the doctor. As part of the overall physical, the doctor had my five-year-old lie face-down on the table, at which point the doctor gently pushed on my son’s lower back. The doctor’s efforts were rewarded. His pressure on my son’s back resulted in a release of intestinal pressure. After a sound that out-decibeled any whoopie cushion, the room had a certain lingering reminder of the event. “Well, that works,” I said. This story, of course, brought much laughter to our after dinner gathering. Someone at the table remarked, “It’s just like when someone says, ‘pull my finger.’” My son replied, “That doesn’t work you know, I’ve tried it.”...

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Hold My Hand

Posted by on Sep 11, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 6 comments

“Mommy?” Charity whispered into the dark still night. “Hold my hand.” I felt the soft skin of her little hand slide smoothly into mine. It fit perfectly, like it was meant to be there. The connection reached straight into my mommy heart. Together we picked our way through the rocky path toward the warm light of the house window. Conscious of that little hand warming mine I thought how soon she would grow out of this dependence. Will I know when the last time comes, I wondered? Will I know when she is too big to reach for my hand? Will I notice? Perhaps it will take a dark night like this before I’ll realize my hand is empty, and I’ll wonder how long it’s been since her little fingers curled into mine. Years passed. It was a night...

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Fathering and Child Sponsorship

Posted by on Sep 5, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

For a number of years, our family has sponsored a child from Haiti. There are numerous reasons we have chosen to do so, and many of them come from my desire to be a good father. What specifically has sponsorship taught me (and my children)? I’m privileged to have been born in a country that has so much, and yet there are so many countries that have so little. It’s easy for me to part with a small portion of my overflowing bounty to help these who have so little. This is a good example for my children to see. We tried to sponsor a child near the age of our children. We rightly assumed this would help our children relate. As a coincidence, our little Hattian boy had the same name as one of our boys. That tightened...

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The Art of Sitting Down

Posted by on Aug 7, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Giggles and Grace | 0 comments

Marybeth picked up her two boys from school and listened as they told about their day. Her concern grew as her eleven-year-old, Andrew, shared about a boy who was being unkind to him day after day. Nothing upsets a mama more than a bully. Andrew’s gentle nature and kind heart made him an easy prey for mean boys. His mama listened, and then told him that he needed to stand up for himself. “You can still be kind, but also stand up for yourself,” she explained to him. As she talked to Andrew about ways he could take a stand, her eight-year-old, Zane, piped up in the back seat. Zane, while younger, was full of personality and spunk. When he asked to speak, Marybeth thought perhaps he could share some kid wisdom for his older brother. Zane’s curly head...

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