October 30, 2010

Silent Lucidity

It's Friday night and I'm sitting on my couch. My kids are all sleeping. The wise and beautiful blonde I call my wife is getting some much-deserved time out with the girls. SportsCenter is on, and with the volume at 5, I can actually hear it. It's pretty peaceful around here right now.

Like most parents, I treasure this. We put in the requisite 14-hour day that starts with kids cheerfully bouncing into your bed at 5:56 AM (twenty or so minutes before the alarm is set to go off, naturally; kids always know), proceeds into a caffeine-injected nine hour work day, and concludes after several more hours of breaking up out-of-hand Nerf sword fights, reading one last story and gently rejecting requests for that last drink of water that you know will be the difference between a wet bed and a dry one. After all that, it's great to have a little "me time", a chat with God, some quality time with the Beautiful Blonde. Not to mention time to pound out a slightly silly, sappy blog post for your enjoyment.

The Blonde and I reminisce sometimes about what life was like in the years before kids. On a Friday night in late October we might get some friends together for a spur-of-the-moment late fall bonfire or go out or rent some movies or just...whatever. Some would call it flying by the seat of our pants, a catch phrase that I'm sure is quite apt but for some reason has never made the least bit of sense to me. In any case, I honestly can't remember what it was like to be able to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted, but for that matter, I don't remember what I had for dinner last night. Persistent lack of sleep will do that, as you can see, but there's no doubt those were some great times. Carefree.

Now I'm fully convinced that one day long ago, God noticed how cocky and self-absorbed man and woman were, so he invented kids to remind them that life really wasn't all about them after all. Then, upon further consideration, he took pity and invented diapers. This parenting thing surely ain't for the faint of heart. But do you know what really puts a smile on my face when I think about those carefree times? It's the fact that the time of life I'm coffeeing my way through right now is much fuller and more rewarding, despite the too-early wake-up calls and kid boogers on my shirt. 

And why should I smile about being humbled like that? Because I like the person I am now a whole lot better than the one I was then, and I know God appreciates that I got the point. In these silences, he has a way of putting things in perspective.

He also makes it pretty easy to enjoy some low-volume SportsCenter.


  1. YOU are a great writer -- and unusual because you're a man blogging about family. That's rare. I was talking to a teacher friend who is, after nearly ten years of marriage, about to become a parent. He lamented the fact that there are no "normal dad" books out there for him to read. So I'm going to set him on your blog here.

    Honestly, I never knew you could write this well. Of course, we've had all of about twenty minutes in which to actually TALK to each other. It doesn't look like that will change any time soon, but this way, as we read each other's blogs and FacePlant posts, maybe we can have a virtual friendship! BTW -- if you ever want a different worship experience, feel free to come to Open Door in Maple Grove. That's where me, Liz and Mary go now! GREAT kid's ministry -- plus we have this excellent youth program where each 7-12th grader that wants to is matched with a young adult mentor (like Mary)...but the mentors are matched with OLD adult Mentor Coordinators (like Liz and me) who ALL work together to advance the Kingdom of God...by meeting once a month and keeping in touch about needs, concerns and growth. It's a GROWING time all around!

    Anyway, DON'T STOP WRITING! It takes a while to build up a blog audience and it's purely by word-of-mouth/ viral growth. BTW-thanks for "Following" me. I know we won't actually "see" each other -- but this ain't bad either, brother! Later

  2. Hey Aaron,
    I just read this post and have to tell you in the most respectful way that I take offense at you referring to your wife as The Beautiful Blonde and again as The Blonde. I ran it by my husband to see if I was over reacting or over thinking it and he was in full agreement. I just felt the need to share this instead of ignore it. I am a fellow Minnesotan and get the whole Scandinavian/Swedish/Norwegian thing. I just feel like as Christians, we need to try our best to not focus on the physical and more on the heart. I appreciate you also describing her as wise and if you had left it at that one sentence it may not have rubbed me wrong. I also just read a long post from a blog called Single Dad Laughing (or something like that) where he was pleading with all of us to stop focusing on the exteriors society wants us to want/expect from each other, but specifically on the expectations placed on women.
    Don't get me wrong. I appreciate that you have a beautiful wife and also that you want to express that. I just wanted to let you know from another beautiful wife that I took offense to how you expressed it. That's all. Just my two cents. Happy blog writing and much success to you!
    Michele Nordine (a Minnesotan posing as an Ohioan)

  3. Hi Michele. Thanks for taking the time to read and express your opinion.

    I guess the best thing I can say to you is that if you knew me at all, you'd know that most of my posts are 1/2 to 3/4 tongue-in-cheek on average, I'm an extremely non-superficial person and I refer to my wife as The Blonde with absolutely nothing but love and admiration. I have nothing but praise for my wife's myriad excellent qualities, and she knows this and enjoys my silliness. If she's not offended, no one else should be.

    I appreciate your Christian concern, but I think God is honored by my writing. As Christians, I believe we need to have slightly thicker than average skins...Jesus certainly did, eh?

    I guess this all boils down to one thing: before you react, assume positive intentions. Mine certainly are.

  4. Aaron...dont change who you are to appease ANYONE!!! you are a wonderful husband...i appreciate your humor (as does your blonde wife, stated by the brunette, myself)...I'm proud to be brunette and i'm SURE does your gorgeous blonde wife...keep up with the posts my friend....woot!