Today is Good Friday, and the kids have the day off of school. What better way to start spring break than by sleeping in and then making a good breakfast. For me that means bacon and eggs with a slice of toast and a cuppa joe which Kate set to autobrew before leaving for work this morning. For the kids, the question gets a little more complicated.
Godzilla was thrilled to have some shredded wheat, but Nat has always been a little picky, and recently decided to begin snubbing her nose at cereal. Cereal. The king of easy-to-make for tired-as-dirt dad in the early morning. So, we found a scrambled egg and cheese quesadilla with a glass of apple juice works well for her on a day when I have the energy to cook only five minutes out of bed.
The rest of the day now lays open for us, and the question is how do we observe Good Friday, and get the kids involved in the process. It's important for them to understand why we celebrate Easter, and Good Friday is an integral part to the weekend. One of the best things about a day like today is the ability to separate it from the Easter Bunny, and bring all the focus to Jesus' death on the cross, his burial and his resurrection.
Today we'll make stained glass crosses to hang in the front window, and along the way, we'll read the scriptures surrounding the Holy weekend and give thanks to God for his sacrifice and our salvation. The cross is easy enough to make. First lay out a piece of wax paper for each kid. Then have them cut out tissue paper scraps and mod podge them down to the wax paper. When complete, add a layer of mod podge to the top to seal and let dry. Once the tissue is dry, it should be rigid and you can cut out the shape of a cross or a dove or a fish or anything to remind the kids of the story of the Passion. By the end of the day, simply hang them in the front window, and watch the sunset stream through your cross!
How does a traditional family survive in the modern world?
My answer: adapt.
I find myself today with a wife (Katie and I will be married for 10 years this May, with a relationship founded on love, respect and common beliefs), two kids (now ages 8 and 4), a dog (Aurora, a Shepherd mix shelter rescue), and I own my own home (that first-time home buyer credit in '09 was a God-send). I could not be more blessed, or have a more traditional family. However, the traditional family image from the 50's does not apply in this house. Nor, I suspect, would it if I tried to make it.
The image of a father who comes home from work, pats the kids on the head as he sits down with the paper to watch the game has evolved. So has the image of the apron wearing, Tupperware slinging, "wait til your dad gets home" threatening mom. Dads today can still be the lawmaker, the handyman, breadwinner and moral guide for the family. But we also need to be more.
Today, our kids need more from their dads than slippers and a game.
My kids need more from me.
And so, I am a baseball fan who knows the lyrics to the latest Disney princess song. I can hook up a DVD player and swaddle a newborn like a boss. This week, I will put up trim around our kitchen windows and run several loads of laundry (without turning anything pink). I will teach a class at my daughter's school, cook a few meals, then pay bills and work 40+ hours. I will watch the NCAA basketball tournament, read bedtime stories, hand out discipline, dry tears, pick out clothes and along the way, share all those adventures with my wife.