It seems like all I do with my days lately is sit in the front seat of my car all day, driving my kids places. I don’t even know why I bought a house!
It wouldn’t be so bad if there were a bit of planning done before these chauffeuring outings, but kids just aren’t the best planners.
“Dad… I need to be in Chicago… in ten minutes.”
“I need to be at a school basketball game… two nights ago.”
“Thanks for the lead time, kiddo. I’ll just drop everything and turn back the hands of time for you!”
And, I wish I could say that my wife had my back in this.
“Honey, I know that you have to catch a flight today, but could you take a couple of boys to camp beforehand? Also, they might need some shots first at the doctor’s office”
Who’s planning all this stuff for kids nowadays, anyway? When we were kids, we never traveled like this. If I got a trip to the local planetarium, I thought that was exotic. But, the kids who are planning excursions for our kids today are trying to get them to explore ever corner of North America and beyond.
Isn’ that why they made books and videos… so we don’t have to physically go everywhere in order to learn about something?
“Good news, kids… today, we’re going to Cape Canaveral today! Can your dad drive?”
Apparently school buses are useless. They’re fine enough to transport our kids from our neighborhood to the school and back; but that’s the easy part of youth-transportation. I have an idea, how about I handle taking the kids back and forth to school, and Joe Busdriver take on all the extracurricular voyages… then we’ll see who gets more freetime out of their day! Let’s see who gets to take a shower every now and again.
And, it’s not just school field trips. My kids want to be shuttled back and forth to their friends’ houses. Because, apparently spending seven hours a day together at school isn’t enough. They need late afternoon and evening times together, too.
Meanwhile, I haven’t seen my wife since parachute pants were in style.
Even our church is contributing to the problem. You know, when the Bible says to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations… I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t follow that command with, “…and make your dad drive you.”
Next, my buddy Rich Praytor joins the show to talk about the “joys” of parenting. Rich has a nine-year-old, an eight-year-old and a six-year-old… so he’s just happy to get a moment to talk with another adult without distractions… from his bathroom. There was a time when Rich wanted four kids. But then, after having three kids, Rich realized he really just wants two kids.
But, the truth is that he and his wife were extremely excited when they were first “diagnosed with pregnancy”; but when the baby actually came, instead of being “the most beautiful thing they’d ever see” as people had lied to him, their baby was nine different colors.
Rich looked at the doctor and said, “Oh great… my wife just gave birth to a bag of Skittles!” At that moment, Rich, though he heard his baby whisper, “Taste the rainbow!”
One unexpected challenge Rich and his wife have encountered, when it comes to raising a family, stems from being a tall family. Rich is 6’5” and his wife is 6’2”, so naturally all three of their kids are tall as well. So, every time they go out as a family, people stop them and say, “Oh my gosh… look at how tall you guys are! You guys are all so tall!”
This only happens to tall people.
No one would ever approach a short family and say, “Oh my gosh… you guys are so short! You are so amazingly little! Do you guys all play miniature golf? Do you represent the Lollipop Guild? What’s it like working for Willy Wanka?”
Finally, I am joined by singer/songwriter Mac Powell of the Christian band Third Day. Third Day has been together for over twenty years now, technically going all the way back to the john McEachern High School Marching Band, where he began making music with bandmate mark Lee… and several hundred of their closest friends. Mac and Mark then started the not-so-famous garage band named Nuclear Hoedown. By the time they graduated high school, the guys started teaming up with friends who played drums, keyboard and bass, began sharing their Christian faith through their music and settled on the name Third Day.
From the band’s inception, Mac has always been the frontman. He initially wanted to be the drummer, but since he has very little rhythm, he was moved to holding a microphone. As Mac puts it, he plays a little guitar, but he doesn’t really consider himself a guitarist. That’s Mark’s job. In fact, as a songwriter, the only reason Mac started playing guitar at all was so that he could share his songs with other people and have some musical accompaniment behind him and sound like a Christian songwriter instead of sounding like a beatnik poet.
One aspect of Mac’s songwriting style is his commitment to sharing his Christian faith through song. Some may view this as a confining hinderance, but not Mac. As he puts it, when you are worshipping and following the Creator of all things, there is an unlimited well of creativity to draw from! Not to say that Mac only writes Christ-centered songs. He also has a country side that comes out in much of his solo efforts, including his latest album “Southpaw”.
In other words, Mac has the best of all worlds – being able to do what he loves to do and share his faith through song with a phenomenal Third Day fan base; and start a solo career recording country music in the secular arena, broadening his songwriting horizons.
Mac has a really cool and distinct vocal style – one that has developed quite a bit over time. If you listen to Third Day’s first album and compare his voice to his most recent songs, you’ll see quite a difference and maturity in his singing. In fact, if you can get ahold of any pre-Third Day recordings of Mac, you can hear influences of Michael Jackson in his voice when Mac was a kid, then Eddie Vedder tones sneaking in when Mac was in college. These types of influences, plus age, has culminated into Mac’s one-of-a-kind sound.
Well… kinda “one-of-a-kind”. Over the years, many people have compared Mac’s voice with his friend and neighbor Travis Tritt. Travis himself told Mac that a few years ago, Travis’ mom called the country legend and scolded him.
“Travis… why didn’t you tell me that you made a Gospel record?”
“Mama, I never made a Gospel record.”
“Travis… I just heard you singing on the Christian radio station, so I know you made a Gospel record.”
“Mama, that wasn’t me.”
About two weeks later, she called her son back and told him, “Oh, that band I heard and liked is a band called Third Day.”
So, Mac has been told forever by random people that his voice sounds a little like Travis Tritt, but when Travis’ own mother was fooled, that took the comparisons to a whole new level.