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The Quadfathers’ Daily Devotional for Domestic Dads
So much has changed in forty plus years that I can count. Things that were once unheard of are now the stuff of everyday life. TVs are color and I have children. They ride in an SUV watching DVDs on the LCD TV wearing wireless IF headphones while I listen to cable TV. Did I mention cable TV? Well, they watch as I listen to my favorite cable TV station on my satellite radio, which doesn’t fade away as we crack up about our family business behind the scenes and on the back roads of our Blue Ridge mountain home.
I often wonder how my favorite old snuff farts. The bonnet worn by the Brother Grandmother would be about our lives in the twenty-first century. I especially wonder what he would think of the Quads. Did I mention we have a set of Quads? Sometimes I get a little lost in all the commotion and repeat myself. Yes, we have two lovely daughters aged 12 and 9 and a set of 3 year old quadruplets.
Our family doesn’t fit your average demographic by almost any measure you use. Of course we have the six children in three pregnancies. In addition to being a gold medalist mother, my wife is also a very successful businesswoman. All of this led to me becoming the stay-at-home dad at six. None of these were on our list of goals when we did our premarital counseling. When asked, I prefer the title “Quartermaker”. How Grandma would deal with all of this interests me because of the varied reactions and odd comments I’ve encountered from others over the years. Grandma would be thrilled to find out we’ve stuck close to Faith. Not the Brethren faith, but more the Interfaith, new Apostolic-Reformed, don’t-need-a-suit-and-tie, beard or bonnet, spirit-filled Christianity. Again he and our African-American pastor could do more to overwhelm her born in the boat of the eighteenth century than all the other changes put together.
Yes, things have changed. I feel lucky to have been born deep enough back in the 1900s to have seen the old people and the old ways. However, still being young enough to be close to my child’s formative and most unique time.
I’ll never forget my grandmother vehemently claiming that the first Moon Walks were in Hollywood when I was in shape and the 69 mustang was a new ride. Nor will I forget the times she lost herself in the titanic struggle of good and evil to be on TV Wrasslin and would insist with the same ferocity that these events were real and important to our personal sanctity and national well-being.
Grandma may have struggled with the changing times around her, but I know she had a firm grasp on real things, the serious truth and importance of God and Family and the need to prioritize them and keep them together.
Grandma was a blessing in my life. When I was fourteen, my mom had two divorces and a nervous breakdown. About 40% of my growing up was in a single mother household with grandma at home. My other grandmother raised many of her grandchildren in a similar way. Both were widowed before I could walk and I never had a close or long term father/son relationship during that time. I guess in many unfortunate ways our family was ahead of our time. But Grandma hung in there, trying to impart to me in deed and word these two important foundational truths along with other ideas that are now bitter memories about herbs and roots and the phases of the moon and planting and the struggle to clear the bad from our shores via Wrasslin TV.
I would love to see Grandma’s reaction to much of the technological and unique dynamics of our time and special family. I can only believe that he would see and understand how the two gravest truths are very much part of the fabric of this family. They matter. It is the tradition we have embraced and will not lose.
It was these very challenges and unusual twists and turns that the Lord saw fit to introduce into our lives that reminded me most of what I had lost. With the memory I can see and appreciate what Grandma was trying to instill so long ago in the confusion and isolation of a disintegrated, jumbled and re-broken childhood. In the process and in between many long nights and endless diaper changes, I was given the opportunity to be the type of dad I never had.
By bringing me to the choice to be a father on a scale here unheard of, I found a loving and benevolent Father who brings healing and restoration that I didn’t realize was needed in my life. Although some may think we are out of business or feel sorry for us. Some seem to see them as commitments and expenses that would curtail their lifestyles, limit their recreational opportunities, and challenge their understanding of Christian family life. I believe that I have seen the miraculous and that I have heard the steadfast steadfast heart of the Father on two things, priorities and order, God and Family. Not roles or religion, surrogate, surrender expectations or self-actualization and satisfaction. All of this seems to haunt so much of my generation as we became ‘The Parents’.
This series, if it ever sees the light of day, is my prayerful attempt to share in this parenting world of broken, jumbled, broken, single and wounded families healing, purpose and encouragement that times can seem tough and dark, but changing, and that we can find our greatest insight and understanding of God’s direction and faithfulness changing us and influencing us through us in the lives of the little children who come after us. In our difficult times, as they make their appointments with the adult destiny beside us, we lose a lot that we may never recover if we focus on ourselves, the rough ships, or what or how well others are doing, or a nagging neurotic sense of perfection and performance. Times change, we must embrace each one. Technologies change, people change, grow old, grow up and leave, but God, His faith in every generation and the heart of His Fathers have not changed and will never leave us. , we love and care.
Hug with me if you will, the fun, the fun and the encouragement I find on my road less traveled. I think you might find a lot there that you recognize even if you’re not a Quadfather
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