Oh Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

August 31, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

7:40 is an early time to start Middle School.  I’m just sayin.  We live relatively close, yet we leave at 7:20, because apparently they are pretty serious about giving out the tardies.  I would be too if I started at 7:40, otherwise folks like me would be like, “It’s just homeroom.  We get there when we get there.”  Wait, I don’t mean folks like me, but folks with passive-aggressive tendencies who aren’t morning people.  Clearly, that’s not me.

Anywho, to leave at 7:20 and having the responsibility of getting a diva up and all the time it takes for said diva to get faboo, (Loften shortening of fabulous, which I gladly stole from Wakko from the Animaniacs.  BOOM! Dated reference.  FYI, if you google “boom dated reference” with the quotes, you get 7 hits, all from cloften.com.  “Hey! Cloften, get on with it!”  Sorry, feeling a little punchy this morning.) we have to get up pretty early.  So here is the morning tradition.  When Maylee gets up she texts me that she is up and getting dressed.  If I get up and I do not have said text, I text her.  If I get no reply then I go in there and wake her up (respecting the privacy).

Well this fine morning, I texted her, “U up?”  The response I got back made me lol (I’m such a hip, cool dad with my texting lingo.).  She texted back, “no.”  Where on earth would a girl get such a smart mouth?  Why on earth would Cloften’s daughter answer a straightforward question with a smartalec response?  Either you know these are rhetorical questions or you found this post by googling “boom dated reference.”

We never once had a lesson in how and when to give smart answers to questions.  No lessons in sarcastic humor.  I never once told them that they should do that, because it would make them a hipster doofus (that’s right.  say it with me now.  BOOM! Dated reference) like their dad.  Although, I will confess that I have given comedy lessons to each of daughters before.  We talk mostly about timing and keeping a straight face.  They didn’t need a formal lesson in sarcastic, silly humor and being a punk when asked a question.  They get lessons in that each and every day.

They see what they see every day, and they assume that what they see is what you should do.  If Dad does it, it’s funny and cool and I should do it as well.  It never fails to stop me in my tracks when they do something like that.  I laugh, and I’m proud.  Then I chase that with a good old-fashioned feeling of being overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed?  Yes.  They are listening to everything that I say.  They are watching everything I do.  They aren’t just putting stuff in the “funny” category.  They put all of it in the “godly man” category.  All of it.  That is overwhelming to me.

My girls are getting older.  This year they will turn 13 and 10.  The stakes are getting higher and time is running out.  God has called me as Dad to lead, to shape the culture of our home and show them what they need to become and what they need to expect in a husb…nope not going there today.

Ok, maybe I will go there briefly.  I want them to bring home someone that loves and honors God and treats them well.  Someone that I will reluctantly, but somewhat willingly hand my girls to.  That will depend, to a large degree, on what they see and hear from me.

I certainly don’t want them bringing home some Urkel (You saw this coming.  Didn’t you?  BOOM! Dated reference.)

I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me

So our Worship Pastor, Jason Merrick, AKA Dr. Worship, and I are having lunch at Quiznos yesterday.  (I call him Dr. Worship, because he leads worship at our church and is by profession a medical doctor).  Anywho, we are sitting there and “Somebody’s Watching Me” comes on, and of course, I stopped talking.  I had to take a moment.  So, I offer Merrick 2 points to name the artist.  How many points you get is based on difficulty.  I offer you the same points.  (Points can be redeemed for discounted blog posts on cloften.com)

That song at Quiznos reminded me of one of my favorite stories that happend to Merrick and I at Quiznos.  I have told this story before in sermons, so I apologize to those that have heard this.  (However, one of  the benefits of cloften.com for me is that it becomes a repository for my favorite stories).

Merrick and I eat there almost every Thursday.  Whoever gets there first gets in line and orders the sandwiches.  (That’s right we eat at the same place every week and order the same sandwiches every week.  You have a problem with that?)  Typically it’s me, what with him being a doctor and all.  This time he was there first and there was a line.  I go to stand next to him and after a minute the dude behind us starts getting angry.  I won’t say that he was yelling, but suffice to say it was loud enough for everyone in the small Quiznos to hear it.  “Oh I guess you guys just get in line wherever you want, huh?”  Merrick tries to explain to him that he was there first, we order together, etc.  “Whatever you want to call it, (obnoxious noise like a phhhhh)”  Just as Merrick was about to explain it to him a little more forcefully, Rufus there mumbles something else at us.  I look at him and apologize and have him get in front of us.  He shoots us a smug look and orders. 

If you don’t know this, Merrick and I are both high justice and quite competitive.  That was hard for both of us.  I leaned into Merrick and said, “The people that work here know that we eat here all the time and that we plan worship services here.  They are watching.”  We calm down, order, get our food and sit down.

The guy in front took his sandwich to go.  After he left, the manager comes over to us and thanks us for how we handled that.  She explained that he is a regular and he gives people trouble all the time.  She appreciated the grace and humility that we showed and thanked us again.  She walks away and I look at Merrick.  He says, “OK, you win.”

If you are a follower of Christ and people know it, know this–people are watching you.  People want to see if you live the same way you talk at church.  I always feel like somebody’s watching me, and they are.  Unlike Rockwell (there’s your 2 pt answer), it is not paranoid.  It is reality.