Children are strange creatures. It doesn’t seem that long since I was a child (indeed, some would say I still act rather childishly) yet I am constantly surprised by my kids. Last week Joshua and I were trying to decide what to do for his Special Day … he is so much less competitive than I was at his age. Rather than be defeated, he would prefer not to play … at his age I would have played at least until I could win consistently. He won’t play any game against me these days … we come from such different philosophies. In my thinking, the only shame is not being willing to try … there is no humiliation in losing a game. Then again, I don’t lose very often, so I can afford to be glib.
I’ve been reading Bible-related animal stories to the kids at night during ‘Chapter Time’ … fictional stories about animals reacting to various human events loosely associated with scriptural stories. After we prayed, I sent each child to bed, calling them by a silly nickname. Names are such powerful things … each child waited until I called them by their nickname and ran off delightedly telling the others what I had called them. “Off to bed, Faithful!” I said to Rachel, making a pun on the lavender-colored hooded sweatshirt that she wears 24×7 until we have begun calling it ‘Old Faithful’. “Get into your bunk, ‘Toothless in Tacoma’!” I said to Daniel, teasing him about the recent removal of his two lower front teeth. Even Sarah wanted to be called something, so I dubbed her “Muffin Toes” which all agreed was appropriate. “Brown Eyes” (David) and “Special Boy” (Joshua, in honor of Thursday being his Special Day) ran off to bed well-satisfied.
I really like being a Dad, which is a good thing, considering how much time it requires. It will be a strange thing to have these rascals grow up and move out … assuming they ever do.