Sep 102015 1 Response

Tug-of-War, Joining the Boy Scouts, and a Funeral Procession

Ella wasn’t feeling well so she decided to lay down on the couch next to me. As I was watching golf, she said, “Dad, will you change the channel to the Disney Channel?” After telling her ‘no,’ she got up so I asked her where she was going. She said, “I’m going to go Google how to be a good dad.”

About ten minutes later she returned. I asked her what Google thought about being a dad. She said, “Google said you should do whatever you daughter wants.”

While Ella is worried about my parenting, Silas has other concerns. I was putting him to bed when he quietly asked, “Dad, if you die will I get all of your money?” I said, “Well, that depends, but why do you ask?” He said, “Oh, no reason. Don’t worry about it.” But now I’m worried about it.


Like many couples, Jenny and I rarely feel a room is the same temperature. On occasional Sunday mornings I feel the worship center at church might be a little warm. I’ll whisper to Jenny, “How does the temperature feel?” If she says, “It feels great,” I  know it is way too hot.

At night we have an ongoing battle with the covers. When we go to bed, she’s cold and I’m hot. Some time during the night, I get cold and she becomes hot. When we wake up in the morning, we never know where the bed sheet or quilt might be. (See: No Lies/No Slang–How to Raise Healthy Kids that Make Grandparents Uncomfortable)

One morning Jenny was making the bed and she innocently told Ella, “Mommy and Daddy must have played tug-of-war last night because these sheets are everywhere.”

You don’t know embarrassment until you are sitting at dinner with your mom when your daughter says, “Nana, did you know mommy and daddy like to play tug-of-war at night in their bed?”

Joining the Boy Scouts

With the kids being back at school, a series of sign-up sheets have come home for a variety of after school activities. Despite our best attempts to limit our family’s schedule, many events are already taking up our time.

Most flyers end up in the trash before the kids even see them. I throw them away assuming what they don’t know won’t hurt them (by the way, my kids didn’t even know Disney World existed until this year). But there was one flyer I left out thinking Silas might be interested–the Boy Scouts.

It’s no surprise that I was not much of a Boy Scout. I barely made it past the WEBELOS presentation before finding something more interesting, but Silas is an outdoors man so I thought he might be interested. (See: Silas on the Sybil War, Col. Sanders, and Peeing Crooked)

When I asked him if he read the sheet, he said, “Yeah, but I’m not interested.” I asked, “Why not?” He said, “Camping, hiking, and fishing–the Boys Scouts don’t sound any different than a day with grandma.”

Funeral Procession

While the pastorate is a strange profession, there are two moments which are uniquely odd. Standing within two feet of a couple right after I have said, “You may kiss your bride” is an awkward moment. As they make-out, I’m standing there wanting them to hurry up so I can go to dinner. I actually told a groom during one ceremony, “You may now STOP kissing your bride.”

The second odd moment is a local tradition at funerals. In my hometown, it is the tradition after the ceremony to open the casket and allow everyone present to pay their respects to the deceased. Beside the casket and next to the flowers, the pastor traditionally stands.

I assume this tradition arose so the pastor could comfort the grieving, but it practically becomes a strange moment where people are forced to shake my hand and say something about the funeral sermon. Very few people truly know what to say or do in this moment. I never know if I should shake every hand or wait until the other person initiates the handshake. Without fail, it is a series of shakes, no shakes, and fake-out handshakes. (See: On George Straight, a First Kiss, and Seminary Women)

At a recent funeral, Jenny was seated on the back row. When the funeral ended, the funeral director escorted the crowd by the casket starting with the back of the funeral parlor and working his way forward.

With Jenny being the first in line, she filed by the casket, and then passed by me. I stopped her, kissed her cheek, and whispered in her ear, “Me whispering into your ear is going to freak out every person behind you.”

As she passed, the next three women looked terrifyingly into my eyes as though to say, “Are you going to do that to me?”

Of course I freaked out when the fourth woman seemed to look at me as though to say, “You ARE going to do that to me.”

Happy Friday.


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