One of the major focusses of this blog is to talk about how I want to be a great dad, even with everything else going on in my life. I decided to interview my kids on the subject. I asked the questions, and wrote their answers just how they spoke.
What are some things dads can do to be better dads?
Lunch Bucket: Be gentle to Rosie (Rosie’s a dog who’s visiting for awhile), and don’t be frustrated, and that won’t hurt their kids ears. And help their kids and teach them so much of the gospel.
Tootles: Better dads are good.
Me: Anything else?
What is your favorite thing to do with your dad?
Tootles: The pirates song question. I talked about that. Be nice, and fight with the pirate song question.
Lunch Bucket: Play games – good games that people don’t shoot.
Me: Anything else?
Tootles: Be gentle with Rosie with Dad.
Tell me a story from your family history – or something about your ancestors.
Lunch Bucket: I don’t know one.
Tootles: A story about Great Grandma Hathaway, and they go to the Family history house.
Me: What happens?
Tootles: They get treats at the Family Histories class.
What would you like your dad to do for you?
Tootles: All the family toys and all the family slides, and all the family clouds.
LB: Help me pick up the toys. And help our mothers to do laundry.
. . .
I’m not sure I like where this is going… she’s been talking to her mom too much. I better stop now before she mentions dishes.
If someone had asked me in grade school what my dad did, I would probably have told them that my dad is a fisherman. I didn’t know what he did for work, but I did know that he was a fisherman in his free time. It was his favorite pastime, and he was really good at it. He didn’t much go for worm fishing, and he certainly was never big on plopping the line in the water and sitting back waiting for the line to pull. Dad was a fly fisher.
He loved fishing the rivers, outsmarting the fish using strategy and skill rather than passive chance. With fly fishing on a river, the fisher must cast the line upstream, getting the fly to float unsuspectingly over the best part of the fishing hole. Dad also tied his own flies. This was itself quite a skill, as it took the most precise thread-work. He had a cool fly-tying kit, as well as materials for making flies, such as threads, feathers, animal fur, or whatever was necessary for the desired effect. The idea is to emulate as close as possible the look of a real fly. I remember him making Cadiss flies, Mayflies, and even ants and grasshoppers.
He still fly-fishes and makes his own flies today.
We know from the scriptures that “the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them…” but what about when even that is not enough? When Alma went to preach the gospel to the Zoramites, he had great success. But when all was said and done, there was still great wickedness among the people. So Alma changed his approach slightly. What did he do?
“Now Alma, being grieved for the iniquity of his people, yea for the wars, and the bloodsheds, and the contentions which were among them; and having been to declare the word, or sent to declare the word, among all the people in every city; and seeing that the hearts of the people began to wax hard, and that they began to be offended because of the strictness of the word, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
“Therefore, he caused that his sons should be gathered together, that he might give unto them every one his charge, separately, concerning the things pertaining unto righteousness. And we have an account of his commandments, which he gave unto them according to his own record.”
Remember the old Muppet show with the two pink… well, whatever they were – some kind of muppets with permanent ooooh mouths, and the shaggy little guy with sunglasses that sang, “Mahna Mahna” while wandering around the stage? Well, Lunch Bucket has the shaggy dude’s part down pat… at least the mahnah mahna part, though I think she leaves out the first “ma” leaving a nahmenah instead.
Today Tootles and I went on an adventure! Jenni and Lunch Bucket went to a bridal shower, so Tootles and I went on an adventure while they were gone.
We drove to a downtown area, where we stopped at a gardening store (my choice) and a candy store (Tootle’s choice) and bought some licorice. We also stopped at a music store (my choice), and a small park (Tootle’s choice). But I realized the adventure would be cut short when Tootles started emanating a suspiciously unpleasant scent. Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought a diaper bag. So we left after the park – but not before the part of the adventure where we discovered bear tracks! They were in the grocery store in the ice-cream section, so we took some home. Soon Tootles had bear tracks all over his face.
Took the munchkins shopping today. All I can say is…
Things started out all right. But soon Lunch Bucket and Tootles were fighting over a curtain set that we were purchasing, and when I took it from them, it was complete pandemonium.
I’m sure there was some in the store that suspected that I was kidnapping the kicking, screaming, and thrashing little three year old, as I took them both out to the car and left Jenni to do the shopping. Especially when the said three year old would not get in the car, and which I finally has to shove in the door and slam it before she escaped.
Tootles was only slightly more cooperative. At least he calmed down once he was in his carseat. Trying to buckle in the struggling Lunch Bucket was very challenging, but soon the three of us were sitting in the car amidst frantic tantrum gasps.
Jenni finished up the shopping and came out in time to see a calm but very pink and wet-faced Lunch Bucket.
We didn’t take her into any more stores after that. I did feel bad for her throughout the ordeal, but I felt at least as bad for me. Thinking back on it now, I feel even more bad for my poor parents.
My sister, Maria Hathaway, is an AMAZING artist. She has sold many paintings, won 1st place and best of show in the state fair, and has had her art in galleries throughout Utah.
We started a podcast for her, and I decided to post the first entry here as well, since the subject was creating meaning in art. Since we are discussing art in general, music was a major topic as well. Be sure to check out her art, too. Especially The Soldier’s Father picture we discuss in the show. We would love to hear your feelings, either here or on her site.
I was deeply impressed with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf‘s talk this evening in the priesthood session of the Church’s general conference about not getting distracted by less important things. It got me thinking about how easily I get distracted from quality family time.
Why is that so stinkin’ easy to do?! Why is it so easy to push my kids away so I can check my Facebook? I tell myself it will only be for five minutes, but it never works out that way – and it has nothing to do with Facebook itself. It’s me. And if the distraction is not Facebook, it’s the piano, or email, or the garden, or even the dishes. Sure, those are all good things – things that I should take advantage of. But must I use the most quality family hours to do them?
I suppose everyone struggles with stuff like that. That’s why I think it’s SO good to get these reminders once in a while. Usually the things the church leaders encourage us to do are simply things that our conscience has been trying to get us to do for a long time. The reminder simply brings it back to our immediate attention – oh, yeah, my family really IS more important to me than the computer. Oh, yeah, my relationship with my Heavenly Father really IS more important to me than preparing a time-consuming meal.
Then I tell Heavenly Father about my mistake, and how I’ll do better, and I expect Him to say something like, “Duh, dude! Hulllloooo!” But instead He just smiles and gives me a hug. If there’s anything that will solidify a re-dedication, it’s that.