Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bacon, vows and 16

Crazy Train (of thought)

Linley gave up bacon, her favorite food group, for Lent. After Easter service we all went to brunch and she broke her fast. She ate three orders of thick-cut smoked bacon.

I photographed a wedding this weekend. Watching another couple exchange vows is a very heartwarming experience; it made me come home and kiss Jill a little longer than the usual “Honey, I’m home” smooch. Perhaps I’m onto something.

If you can’t stop thinking about someone, you just might be a stalker.

We are planning a weekend getaway to a place that has no TV or Internet connection. The girls are begging not to go. How did kids get by before MTV?

That freak in Iran – like I once overheard a district court judge say, some people just need killin’.

Jesse Jackson is at it again – whatever it takes to get himself on television.

Marital Bliss

During the wedding I mentioned above, a union of two people with children from prior marriages, the new step-parent and step-children committed themselves to each other and vowed to work toward the formation of one family under their one roof. It reminded me of the vows Jill and I made to one another. We altered them somewhat to include a similar message, to take care of each other’s child as if she were your own, to have one family under one roof. This is not to pretend the family of origin did not exist or that the other parent (the ex-spouse) is minimized, but is to hold our new family up with pride, to treat it as a worthy union in its own right. It’s working - the girls call us their parents, not “Mom and her husband” and vice versa. We have one uniform estate plan, not something for one child and something else for the other. What Jill and I did, and what I saw this newlywed couple do, is something I hope more remarried adults will aspire to – to have “ours,” not “yours” and “mine.”

Kid-bytes

I can’t believe it, my daughter is now 16. I am so proud of her. She’s a good student, a good person, a God-loving young woman. She makes good decisions, she’s charitable at heart, she is thoughtful of others. Yes, sometimes we have drama, sometimes she wants to run me over with the Rover, sometimes I want to snap my fingers and make her four years old once more, sometimes we can’t communicate worth a flip, but thankfully, the love is always there. Even if I have been short with her, raised my voice and said something I regret, she will always accept my apology and tell me she loves me. I wish it were true that I never disappoint her, that I never hurt her feelings, but its not. What is true, however, and always will be, is that she wakes up every morning knowing her Daddy loves her, that he is glad she is in his life. This will be true to my last breath.

Today’s Rant

I’m skipping the rant today because I do not want to spoil the sweet taste of what follows...

Book Report

Of all the emails I have ever received about my books, this is perhaps the most touching...

“I am a father of 3 beautiful princesses, each of which are very different yet the same in their personalities. On the first reading of your book WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A DAD I smiled, laughed, cried, and felt overwhelmed with the awesome responsibility of being a Dad of daughters. The next reading I found myself thinking of each daughter at each passage and imagining her future. But it was this last reading that indeed changed me.

It is Good Friday and I brought your book to work with me, I enjoy the reflections it allows me have about my family. I began to read it and as always I would think of my daughters. It was not until I read “A Daughter needs a Dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men”, that I began to feel pain and sorrow. I kept reading, wondering where this was coming from. I made it to the passage “A Daughter needs a Dad so that she will have at least one hero who will not let her down” and then I openly began to weep.

You see, my wife has never had a “Dad”. She has never had that standard, that “hero” that would never let her down. I am reading your book now from such a perspective that it is opening my eyes to what she has gone through in her life. I find myself sorrowful for what I have fallen short of as a husband for her, but now I am a bit more prepared. Today when I come home there will be a different husband kissing her, a stronger man holding her, and above all a prepared and rock-solid father for her daughters. I cannot tell you what this book has meant to me as a father of 3 daughters, and I also wanted you to know that your book has reached someone on a plane that is beyond its intention. I felt compelled to let you know that something on this Holy Week drove me to seek you out. I hope that your Easter weekend will be happy and blessed; you certainly have made mine shine.”

As I’ve said before on this blog, I have not always been a model citizen. I continue to make mistakes in my relationships today, in spite of my best efforts to do otherwise. How is it that someone like me can have such an effect on others? Well, that’s just the point. It isn’t me, it’s God. I am merely a tool.

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