four words that saved my boys… from me

February 12, 2010

Setting the stage:  It’s late. Youngest three boys asleep.  Amy and I working happily on our laptops at the Dining Room table.  Lamplight.  Peaceful.

The oldest two boys are squirreling around while one does dishes and the other is picking up in the Living Room.

They’re laughing. A lot.  They’re silly.  It’s late.  They’re boys, so naturally, they keep half bumping into each other and half wrestling each other.  More laughing.  An occasional “ouch!”

I have an inner conflict going on.  You see, they are awakening my inner 6th Grader.  Part of me wants to get up and tackle them.  Grab them in the armpit and make ’em yelp.  Count their ribs with wiggling iron fingers that make them squeal and laugh and try to get me back.

But then I have this serious side. The big bad dad side. That part of me wants quiet and order.  That part of me thinks that they just ought to go to bed.  It’s late.  They need their rest.  Or at least, I want some peace and quiet.  But either way… that’s the mature side, right?  Sure… a little grumpy.  But mature.  Right?

A pot hits the floor.  The laughing stops.  They hold their breath.

Mom asks calmly, “Did you break anything?”  “No.” “OK… take it easy boys.”  And then she simply resumes typing.

Where’s the outrage?  Where’s the mature lecture and the firm command: bedward-ho, and step on it!

Nope.  No lecture.  No wrath of mom.  No serious look and pointy fingers.

And here I sit trying to decide which side of my nature to indulge.  More giggling.  More karate moves in the Kitchen.  Blood pressure rising.  Yep… it’s grumpy… I mean, in-command dad time.  It’s late.  They need their rest.

Then Isaac’s 9-year-old voice drifts out from the next room, full of sincerity and authentic affection…

“I love our family.”

I don’t say a word.  But my heart is full.  My inner 6th Grader is alive and well.  And my big bad dad side will just have to take a number.

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“four words that saved my boys… from me” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


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Psalm 24:7 & Luke 10:42 >> Like David, and Mary, I'm in pursuit of my one thing. I'm the Pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, IL. Pastor, teacher, writer, communicator, designer, and drummer. I definitely got the better deal in my marriage to Amy. And I couldn't be any more proud of my five amazing boys. Deeply grateful.

4 responses to four words that saved my boys… from me

  1. LOVE this, Josh. I hope to remember this as my daughters grow… because I wrestle w/that inner 6th grader often, too!!

    • Yeah… my inner 6th Grader loves to stay up and play. I know he’s in there. It’s the “Mr. Hyde” part of me that comes out after 10PM that is scary… to me and to the family. So, I’m trying to relax a bit. Play more. Keep a bed time routine, but be less Nazi and more low key at the end of the day. I want the boys to have GOOD memories, yes? Thanks for checking in, friend.