Sunday, June 26, 2011

Seven Things

The Lovely Steph Leann and I have always been told, "You guys will be great parents!" in some form or fashion... either she was told she'd be a great mom, or I have been told how great of a dad I'd be, or collectively, as a parental unit, we've been discussed under the mantra of ideal parents.

When talking about this particular line of conversation that we keep having with people, and mind you this was some months ago, maybe even last year, The Lovely Steph Leann remarked, "Do these people even know us?"

Well, whether they do or not, she and I... we're going to be parents.  It's almost a big unnerving, and certainly is enough to weird both of us out.  I mean... a parent?  Like, there is a kid coming that will look to The Lovely Steph Leann as he/she's mommy?  Well, that is actually not a bad thing, and upon reflecting on it, its a great thing.  She's awesome.  However, that little mush of cells will call me daddy at some point, and that is kinda scary.

So anyway, rather than waxing poetic about finding out, and who knew and all that, I wanted to look ahead to our kid getting here... its been noted on this here website that we'll go with Campbell Isaiah for a boy, calling him "Camp", though I'm wondering if his friends like Will Fisher and Willy Roose and Colin Robinson, or his lady friends like Mattie Sherman or Clara Tuck or Sunshine Ray will call him Cam... for a girl, we'll go with Lorelei Addison, calling her simply Lorelei, and yes, that was the name of Lauren Graham's character on "Gilmore Girls", and yes, that is part of the inspiration, but no, our daughter will not be named after Lorelei Gilmore.

Looking ahead to Camp or Lorelei being here, I came up with a few things that we really want to instill in our child.  Obviously, like any parents, we want to make sure our kids understand things like responsibility, accountability, respect and the like... but also like any parents, we might place a higher value on some things than other parents would, and vice versa on other things...

So, I came up with a short list of things that, thanks to Daddy over here, Campbell or Lorelei (I say "or"... its really an "and" because we'll teach this to all our children) will be familiar with at the least, and deeply ensconced in at the most--Mommy will help with some, others I'm sure she'll leave to me...

That's any Christ Following family's prayer and hope, that their children will grow up recognizing the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  While we will never force God on our kids, we will make sure they are fully aware of Christ, His death and Resurrection and we pray that one day, Camp and Lorelei will decide for themselves that a life with Christ is immensely more satisfying than a life without.

We'll also hopefully engrain in them how wonderful and meaningful a church family and church fellowship will be, so when Camp is 14, he has somewhere to go for help after he comes out, and when she's 16, Lorelei will be able to minister to her prison boyfriend.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has any knowledge of us and who we are... we will give our kid plenty of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Lightnin' McQueen, Mater, Belle, Hercules, Cinderella, Mulan, Rapunzel, Simba, Genie, Princess Gisele and so on and so forth.  I've already had people tell me that they are holding open debates on how soon Lorelei and/or Campbell will head to The Most Magical Place on Earth, and even though I always said we would wait until our kids are at least potty trained and able to walk on their own, who am I kidding?  We'd probably deliver the child on Main Street USA if there was a way to do so.

Gotta get Mike and Sulley into the kid's life early, and often
I have often said that The Lovely Steph Leann will be heartbroken if our daughter isn't into the princesses, or at the least, into Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse.  I fear the day when our child declares that she loves Shrek and has forsaken The Mouse.  It is then that we will question our parenting, and perhaps will give the child up for adoption for fear that we can no longer raise them right.  Its the least we can do.

Actually, I think I'd like our kid to be exposed to "Monster's Inc" relatively early... monsters can be scary until you realize they are terrified by human kids... I plan on putting my stuffed Mike Wazowski with my child soon to let them know Mike & Sully are awesome. 

The moment I hear my own kid singing the words to "Hannah Jane",
my favorite Hootie song, that's the moment I know I did it right
I say "Hootie", but you can also add on Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler, Boyz II Men, Pre-Skank Mariah, Pre-Crack Whitney, Journey and their ilk.  I will be feeding little Lorelei or young Camp a steady diet of 80s and 90s music all throughout their childhood. 

Yes, I know, I know, there will be Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in there, and I'm sure they'll pick up other kiddy songs along the way, be it The Imagination Movers or some crap on Nick Jr, but you are darn tootin' my offspring will know something about "Hold My Hand" or "Only Wanna Be With You", or how awesome "Motownphilly" can be at high volume in a Kia Soul. 

This is the one I get the most pushback on... but so?  I can't wait for that day when I curl up with mine own youngling in my arms, and we take in an episode of WWE Raw, and I let them know to cheer for John Cena and The Rock and to boo for the likes of The Miz, CM Punk and Sheamus. 

"I am not having my daughter watch the WWE," declares The Lovely Steph Leann.   I would guess that she'll want a night off at some point, and I'll do my best to make it Monday night.  But if its Friday night, then WWE Smackdown will suffice.

Another one that The Lovely Steph Leann is pushing back on, though perhaps not as hard as #4 above.  But as a young boy myself, Star Wars became an integral part of my life--I saw The Empire Strikes Back as a five year old, and from there on out, my childhood was partially defined by a love of not just Luke, Han, Leia and Vader, but also a love of the imagination, creativity and passion that came behind it. 

Kids love Jar Jar.  My son will probably dig Darth Maul too.  A dad
can only hope, anyway.
Ten years ago, I was afraid Star Wars might become irrelevant.  It would be the loved and influential movies of the 70s that only people who are around my age would value and cherish... but with the three prequels and now the award winning The Clone Wars: The Animated Series out, there's no reason for Star Wars to fade as a memory.  It is prime to influence mine own children with the likes of George Lucas' fine creations.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm going to bust out some dark "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" fresh out of the womb (that one might be a decade down the road), but "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" or "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" isn't out of the question in the first six months of life.  Kids love Jar Jar.  For that matter, kids love Ewoks, so "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi" might also be an option.

Never too young, I always say.  Okay, I don't always say that.  In fact, I just started saying that.  In more fact, I just said that really for the first time, "never too young", at least in reference to the starting age of Dave Ramsey's financial peace.

I want Lorelei and Camp to both grow up never knowing debt.  I want them growing up not only know the value of a dollar, but the value of earning it.  I want them growing up thinking that if they want something, they have to do what they can to get it, and never expect things to be handed to them. 

Now, I'm not saying that we won't give them gifts, or buy them things all along, I mean, there are things I'll see all the time I'll want my kids to have... but I don't want them ever expecting things to just be handed to them all time.   I like th FPU way of teaching your kids chores--some they do because they live there are are expected to do, and some as a way to earn money... and out of every dollar, 10 percent of that goes into a jar that say "Giving", another 15 percent goes into a jar that says "Saving" and the rest can be used for whatever. 

Wish someone, anyone, had taught me the discipline of Three Jars. 

Going along with the above "Dave Ramsey", I just want my kids to be responsible.  Responsible for their own actions.  Teach them how to give, but to take care of their own house first.  Teach them that the government is not the answer, they themselves are.   Teach them that this is the great country in the history of the entire free world, teach them that this country is the good guy.  Teach them that not everyone in the world, or even this country, will be nice to them, teach them that some people will be downright mean and hurtful, teach Lorelei that not all guys will be good and teach Camp that chicks can be overwhelming and over-dramatic, teach them that a life as a Christ Follower, things won't necessarily be easy, and sometimes might downright suck (though I'll try to use another word) and teach them that you know what, life just isn't fair...

...but also teach them that God is a wonderful God, and He has a created a beautiful world around us, teach them that there are great people in the world, and teach them that those people are created in God's image and that everyone deserves respect (until they don't) and everyone deserves for someone to be nice to them (until they don't). 

And yes, when they get older, if Lorelei and Campbell want to be Democrats, that's fine... but they had better be able to tell me why they believe that way.  They need to know that  Rush Limbaugh can be believed (mostly because if they pay attention, it makes sense) Keith Olbermann is full of crap (mostly because if they pay attention, he makes no sense) and finally, yes they will get spanked on the backside when they are bad, regardless of what is politically correct.

I think I'd also like Lorelei to be familiar with Audrey Hepburn movies, and Campbell to know about DieHard, but that's later. 

I'd like to say we're going to be great parents, but The Lovely Steph Leann would say, "Have you met us?"

The Summer of Blogging Day Twenty Four


  1. (Mostly) well-put. I'm going to go on and start praying for this child now. Between you and me, our kids need all they can get.

  2. Congrats, David! I wish your wife a healthy and happy pregnancy; and to you both, I pray for a healthy and happy (and Star Wars lovin') baby!

    Just tell me you aren't going to do that crazy gender neutral thing...oy vey

  3. Eh, y'all will be fine. Here's my big piece of advice: Don't be too hard on yourself if you find you're not being the parent extraordinaire you were planning to be. Most of us start off with wonderful plans to mold and shape these magical little mini-me's ... and then it just turns into a mission to just keep them alive until they're out of the house.


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