Treasure Your Memories

I wrote earlier about the first verse of Gary Allan’s “Tough Little Boys”, which has been ringing in my head this past little while. Today, I would like to skip to the third verse.

Here is the video once again, followed by the lyrics, followed by my comments.

Tough Little Boys – Video

Tough Little Boys – Lyrics

Well I never once
Backed down from a punch
Well I’d take it square on the chin
But I found out fast
That bullies just laugh
And we’ve got to stand up to them

So I didn’t cry when I got a black eye
As bad as it hurt, I just grinned
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again.

Scared me to death
When you took your first steps
And I’d fall every time you fell down
Your first day of school, I cried like a fool
And I followed your school bus to town

Well I didn’t cry, when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

Well I’m a grown man
But as strong as I am
Sometimes its hard to believe
How one little girl, with little blonde curls
Could totally terrify me

If you were to ask, my wife would just laugh
She’d say “I know all about men
How tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again”

Well I know one day, I’ll give you away
But I’m gonna stand there and smile
But when I get home, and I’m all alone
Well, I’ll sit in your room for a while

Well I didn’t cry when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

When tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

Tough Little Boys – Commentary

I must confess that I never followed the school bus to town. That is probably because we had the girls already in preschool, which we drove them to. But I did feel like following the bus and I did feel something of a loss.

Mostly, though, this verse makes me recall how our eldest would watch for us in the first year of kindergarten. She would get on the bus and the bus would drive off, then turn around in the parking lot just down the street and double back past our house. Sure as the sun sets in the west, our little girl would be watching out the window, eyes desperate and hungry for our wave. And if it was a rainy day, or I was distracted and it looked like maybe I was not giving my full attention to her when we waved, I would hear about it after school.

This is a memory I cannot forget. Every morning when I put the girls on the bus, our eldest still waves to us and watches (with a little less hunger in her eyes) for me to wave back. And every morning, I see that four-year old that waved with such hunger and need in her eyes.

This memory is precious.

It is important to hold tight to those memories that connect us with our past, with key elements of who we were before we became who we are. It’s important to remember the smiles and the trials, the moments of courage and strengths, the challenges that held us down, the times we pushed back…and how we felt and why we made the choices we did.

We won’t all put those memories into song, but it might be worth a try.

Limerick – Happy Parents

This one is for all the parents and soon-to-be parents reading.  If you don’t already have a sense of humor, now is a good time to get one.  You’re going to need it.

Parenting is pure happiness.
Full of mumminess and pappiness
You jump for joy
When you hear “It’s a boy”
And the room is filled with clappiness

But one thing leads to another, and the story continues a few years down the road…

Before long I’m willing to wager
You’re living with a teenager
You pray for the day
That he moves away
To study full time or his major

Feel free to add your own limericks to complete the story or to add a fresh perspective (one can never have too many limericks, can one?).  Let’s see how creative you can be.  After all, what follows are sleepless nights, first steps, birthday parties, ballet lessons and hockey games… all the way until those days when you find yourself in the empty nest.

A parent speaks differently to each child

A parent knows his children.  He knows their different strengths, their different weaknesses, their different needs.  He speaks to each one differently, and for good reason.

Let me share a little story with you.  I have two daughters.  Little Lady is a little overweight.  Not surprising, as she loves to eat.  As a result, we try to curtail her eating somewhat.  You might describe our message to her as, “Thou shalt measure thyself when eating.”

Little sister was hard to feed as a baby, and although she is no longer underweight, we still put an effort into ensuring she eats enough, especially of fruits and vegetables.  You might describe our message to her as, “Thou shalt eat in abundance.”

These are two different messages directed at two different children for two different reasons.  Often, Little Sister will leave food on her plate, and we try to coax her to eat a little more.  Little Lady, having scraped her own plate clean, wants to eat up what Little Sister leaves behind.  But our message for Little Sister to eat it is not a message for Little Lady to eat it.

Our children receive different messages for a reason, even though neither of them fully understands the reasons or wants to understand the reasons.

This brings me to some feedback I received recently from my Daily Dose of Happiness:

Happy guy  I want to ask you something are you a christian . DO you believe in Jesus. I really like your help but I ‘m learie 

My reply was:

It just so happens that I am a Christian.  Like most people, I was born into my faith, and I am most comfortable with it.  My words, however, are for all God’s children, regardless of how God has chosen to communicate with them.  I hope he is communicating to some of them, however they practice their spirituality, through me.  🙂

Sometimes people get so wrapped up in their faith, that they become blind to all of God’s other messages.  Sometimes they forget that their faith is about is God, and God is not confined to any human faith system.  Sometimes they forget that people of other faiths might also be brothers and sisters with the same parents, but receiving different messages through other faith systems.

And who are we to question why God chooses to speak to others as he does – let alone try to override His choices?

Let us all embrace each other and revel in the miracle of life that we have been given, however we receive God’s message.children - no two are alike