Precious Moments

For a long time I've wanted to take one of the kids out by themselves to let them know, in a one on one kind of way how special, unique, and fun I find each one to be.  The opportunity came from an unexpected invitation from the school.

"Your child needs his 11 year old immunizations done, and will not be allowed back at school until it is!"  (as I said, unexpected, but pleasant invitation.)

They allowed me some time, and I bought all I could.  With that time I … worked; paid bills, did house cleaning, practiced the guitar … and even remembered to call and set up an appointment.  It wasn't easy but they were nice, and it only took about a week or so to be seen.

There's something about alone time with one of your children.  you see a side of them that isn't often on display, and have a chance to talk to that side of him he otherwise wouldn't show.  It feels impactful and makes me grateful I grew up with a chance to do that with my Father.

Portraits in time

For example, after showing him the art in the waiting area he pointed out that each picture represented a 'scene in history… except that last one, that must be the future… and right now it's only cotton.'  (rural town medical center)  Then he laughed and said "Is that scene where they're eating with the Indians right before they killed them or right before they sent them away?"  His joke indicated his disapproval with some elements of American History…. it totally caught me off guard.

Waiting

After a quick shot … or two and  (he was the bravest of all little boys, didn't whimper, just complained afterwards…. which he may have gotten from me.) it was all done.

Later in our nightly time alone I asked, as I always do "What was your favorite part of today?" his eyes glowed, he smiled, and said "Spending time with you!!!" I said "But you got a shot!" and he said "But you were there, so it wasn't so bad."

Which is the kind of thing that melts a Father's heart and makes me think sometimes I must do things right.

The Places we Play

I consider being a Father more than just 'a responsibility' more even than a 'divine calling' though it may be both of those, it's also a lot of fun.  I feel like I'm good at it.  Sometimes better than others… and lately I've been blessed to see more of the world than just my desert prison with these gifts from Heaven.

So I took these pictures and posted them on Flickr (because it's one of the places I play)

We love to see the Temple

But I also have a "secret" website where I post a lot of the 'other' pictures I take.

A Spiritual Impression

Sometimes life is hard.  Sometimes when life is hard we have a tendency to rip our clothing, look to the heavens and yell.  But now that I'm a parent, and have had a little time to think about it, I have come to some surprising realizations.

1. Sometimes bad things happen.  This is true, sometimes bad things happen, and we always look for a reason, and sometimes … bad things just happen.

2. Most of the time we don't know the reason. Here:http://www.mormonchannel.org/enduring-it-well/1 it talks about 'enduring it well' saying that you face trials, then shares stories of other people who have faced trials, how they overcame it, or how they survived it… and what lessons they learned.  I've listened to almost every program here, some more than once.  What I feel, very strongly, is that in some of these trials the Lord is protecting us from something worse… or giving us an opportunity to be better than we otherwise would be.  Here people are going through the most difficult of circumstances and it makes me think of a video I watched once of how a master stonecutter created a huge granite sphere… that stone ended up being a piece of absolute perfect, but it had to go through so many shattering changes to get like that. 

I think "If that stone were led in the direction he thought was best, then he'd never be more than just a stone.

I think also of what kind of troubles we get ourselves into.  Once I knew the story of a man who seemed to have it all, he started multiple businesses, all of them a success only Midas could compete with, he was the envy of other men for his natural strength and good looks, and just as life seemed to be getting easy his wife got cancer … or his child got cancer.  What happened next was that he had to focus seriously on his family, they all pulled together… but I think of how many people can withstand success on the level he was at, and is it a blessing that saved him from something worse?  It's hard to know.

3.  Maybe it's not for you.  A common question I like to ask people is "What would you like your super power to be?"  Once I made the mistake of asking a Nurse.  "Healing people."  was her instant response.  I was feeling contrary that day and so I pondered her words… and came up with the following discovery. 

"If you had the ability to heal every pain that you found… what miracles would you get in the way of?"  For example.  

There was an old women, who lived in a shoe… and after prolonged exposure to the cheap glue they used to hold together that shoe, she got cancer.  But she was old, and didn't get cancer until after all the kids had moved out, and left her faith.  Also her Husband became distant doing his own thing while she was more focused on her own older person activities.

Cancer is a terrible thing, so she goes to the hospital and the nurse with healing super powers heals her, she goes about her way, loses her Husband, her kids wander off exploring all that the world has to offer, never looking back and only barely caring about what's right and wrong.

or … she goes to the doctor, and they do everything they can.  She lives a few more years, but then dies.  In the meantime her Husband rallies to her defenses, forgets himself in service to her.  Due to the threat on her life this old woman has a chance to look at the things in life that really matter, and reaches out to her children, and her grandchildren.  Meanwhile her children are horrified by the tragedy, making extra efforts to return home, discovering again their faith in order to hold together through the difficult times.  While the old women doesn't make it, this story isn't the same tragedy that simply being cured would have been.

And in my case… maybe if I had lived happily ever after I'd have never gotten my pilots license… picked up photography, bought a guitar, or spent so much time trying to show the children how amazing each one of them is and share my life with them so deeply.