I confess that I took an impromptu week off from blogging last week. It was a family vacation week anyway – a quick trip to Western Kansas to see my family, then a trip to Disney with my wife’s side of the family – but I had a blogging schedule for each day and planned to keep things up to date. On the heels of the flap over the N.T. Wright book, it felt like I should just leave the blog alone until we got home. I’m still not sure how I feel about it all after a week. I didn’t turn my computer on from last Tuesday until this morning – pretty much a new record for me – and didn’t look at Twitter or Facebook. I’m back in town today and getting ready to crank my life back up to speed, but it was a great week of giving my family every waking hour. I’m so glad to be roped up with these four people …amazing each and all.
I confess that I also refrained from reading the news or reading books – at least for the most part. I read the NYTimes headlines once or twice, but didn’t even take a book out of my bag until early this morning. Over that time I kept thinking of the Enneagram advice for the 3-Type: doing nothing makes no sense to your achiever-side, but it makes great sense to your soul. I trusted in the wisdom of that statement during this past week.
I used to be able to ride roller coasters all day long and keep on coming back for more. I confess that those days now seem to be over. I wasn’t even riding the crazy stuff, and by day three of the theme park scene my head felt like a washing machine. However, I have to confess that I think that there are few things more exhilarating in life than watching your children summon their own courage – even if it is for something silly like trying an amusement park ride that is a bit of a stretch. I learned a few new things about their personalities by watching them in that environment. The week was deep-down good for us as a family.
I confess that my kids apparently know all of the words to Thrift Shop and about a dozen other pop songs by people I’ve never even heard of. Driving them around for the past week has made me a bit unnerved about the music they will grow up with here in the 21st century. Where’s Bob Dylan when you need him? I confess that I’m trying to expose them to as much of the good stuff as I can. For me that means the Beatles, old R&B like S. Wonder & Motown, as much alt-country and roots rock as possible – Bruce, Petty, Wilco, Sheryl, Cash and others. I just want them to know what eloquent songwriting is. Still I get the feeling that it doesn’t matter. The soundtrack to their adolescence will be Will.i.am and Justins Bieber & Timberlake. I guess it could be much worse. Here’s hoping that they will survive this the way I survived hair bands.
I confess that many little boys have this thing where they have to move, and jump, and laugh, and sweat. It doesn’t much matter where they are which their insides get squirmy. I confess that I have to fight not being a bit put off when people act offended, surprised, or even disgusted by this. My oldest has this one laugh that he does – uninhibited, hysterical, and full-bodied- which I call his maniacal laugh. I love to hear it. It tells me that he’s enjoying life, he’s in the moment experiencing the joy of being alive. I guess that how the laugh is playing with the rest of the world is somewhat secondary for me. However, I see the sideways glances, the raised eyebrows, and the soft (or not so soft), harrumphs. All too soon our boys will see them, too. They will censor their laughter and tamp down their unvarnished excitement. They will toe the line, tuck in their shirts, reign in the joy and forget how to to live in the moment. Some of this is necessary, even good. Yet I cannot help thinking of the Chesterton line, “We have sinned and grown old,” and wondering if the world wouldn’t be a much better place if we let the little guys run free a bit longer. Someday they will have to go through great pains to try and recover what was lost (if you are in the 2nd half of life, you know what I’m talking about). The lucky ones will find a way. It would be nice to keep their recovery to a minimum.
I confess that I’m praying for my friend Morgan who is part of our church. Morgan is a High School senior is having pretty extensive back surgery today. If you have a moment please pray for her.
I confess that I’m writing today’s confessional from a Surgery center where my wife is having surgery for malignant Melanoma. I’m thankful that they caught it early before it could become a huge problem. Hoping that all of the lab work confirms it was confined to the skin & hasn’t traveled elsewhere.