Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Vacation

School's out or is getting out and that means happy kids and parents who have to figure out what to do with them for summer vacation. For parents who work outside the home that means finding daycare or a sitter for the summer. It means researching what are the best options for your child and finding a place or a person that will provide for all the needs of your child. Daycare can mean a place where all kinds of neat activities and events are planned, where your child will go on field trips, the cost is all inclusive and every day will be full. It means you go home with tired kids and a clean house.

However, for the parent who stays home with their children in the summer, it means you plan the activities and events, fork over money every day for those activities or have bored children and your spouse comes home to a not so clean house. Because invariably one of the kids will have found a way no matter how busy you keep them, to undo anything you may have done. They have lots of time to think of new and exciting ways to entertain themselves. It starts out calmly enough and you have big plans to make this a great summer where you bond with your children and spend time doing neat new things.

It’s summer vacation. Your spouse comes home and you try to explain. Everyone was up and dressed and had breakfast, faces were washed and you had big plans for the day. But first you had to clean up those breakfast dishes; while you were at it you decided to go ahead and start the timer to clean the oven and throw a load of clothes in the washer. The kids were to play while you got everything ready for the wonderful crafts you had planned for them. The phone rang and the insurance company had questions that were only going to take a minute, you explain to your husband. After thirty minutes on the phone you looked around for the kids. You found one in the backyard playing which you figured was relatively safe. When you walked outside you discovered the beautiful flowers you had planted and the brown patches of dirt that had given way to green grass had now become a makeshift battle ground with foxholes dug in various places. Not just small holes but huge wide and deep holes that a small child could hide in. After all he couldn’t be seen by the enemy, which had actually now become you. You were proud of that back yard. Your spouse crosses his arms and waits impatiently and waves his hand to indicate that you need to move this story along.

So you tell him that you instructed your child to fill in the holes. Then it was time to think about lunch, so you made sandwiches with cute little cut out faces, you put the dirt covered child in the tub for a bath, you called them all to eat only to discover wet carpet and water overflowing in the tub with a variety of beautiful colors of boats floating on top and cascading to the floor. Boats can’t float on dry land the children said. You spent the next hour mopping up water, washing and drying all of the towels from the bathroom that you used, feeding the children in between and getting everyone down for a nap. You cleaned the dishes from lunch, the kitchen and finished cleaning the oven, then got the kids up from their naps and to have a snack. Your husband has sat down by now and put his head in his hands. But it isn't over; you continue and tell him that when you got the children up one had gum in her hair and one had taken water to bed with him and spilled it in the bed. You spent two hours getting the gum out of the hair and washing the bedding.

In the mean time the crafts haven’t been touched, it was time to start dinner, the kids were bored and you were exhausted and that was just the first day of summer vacation.

“Tomorrow.” You say. “I’m putting the kids in daycare and I'm going to look for a job, because this is no vacation.”

Have a great day in the Lord and a great summer vacation.

Father's Day

Any man can be a Father, but it takes a special person to be called Dad.

The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909.

Having been raised by her father, William Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father who made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora's father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.

In 1926, a National Father's Day Committee was formed in New York City. Father's Day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1956. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. So Father's Day was born in memory and gratitude by a daughter who thought that her father and all good fathers should be honored with a special day just like we honor our mothers on Mother's Day.

The excerpt below is from the Silver Anniversary Book of Father's Days published in 1935. I would like to thank William Jackson Smart's great granddaughter, Bonnie, for sharing this with me.
"This year, 1935, the Silver Anniversary of Fathers' Day is being observed. Thirty-seven years ago, in the Big Bend hills of Washington, the day had its nativity in a lonely farm dwelling. There Sorrow ministered amid the moaning of the March winds.
A father sat with bowed head in his aloneness. About him clung his weeping children. The winds outside threw great scarfs of powdered snow against the window panes, when suddenly the last born tore himself from the group and rushed out into the storm calling for his mother. Yet even his baby voice could not penetrate the great silence that held this mother.
Hurriedly, the father gathered him back to his protection and for more than two decades, William Jackson Smart, alone, kept paternal vigilance over his motherless children.
This poignant experience in the life of Mrs. John Bruce Dodd of Spokane, Washington, who was then Sonora Louise Smart, was the inspiration for Fathers' Day which materialized through the devotion of this father and the father of her own son, John Bruce Jr., born in 1909. Through the observance of the love and the sacrifice of fathers about her everywhere, her idea of Fathers' Day crystallized in 1910, through a formal Fathers' Day petition asking recognition of fatherhood."

What Makes A Dad
God took the strength of a mountain
The majesty of a tree
The warmth of a summer sun
The calm of a quiet sea
The generous soul of nature
The comforting arm of night
The wisdom of the ages
The power of the eagle's flight
The joy of a morning in spring
The faith of a mustard seed
The patience of eternity
The depth of a family need
Then God combined these qualities
When there was nothing more to add
He knew His masterpiece was complete
And so, He called it ... Dad
Author is unknown