A Dad’s Crazy Four Hours

I have had many crazy moments in my life. Especially since I became a parent. The craziest day of them all may well be the one that took place on February 28th, 2014.

It was a Thursday, so you could say this post is a throwback Thursday post.

The time was 8:09 AM. I saw my chic and primly dressed wife, Njeb to the door – she was on her way to a four- or five-hour meeting. After she stepped out, I closed the door to witness, not as a spectator, but an actor, a frenzy of activities that put my ability to multitask to shame. That day I corrected the notion that I am good at multitasking.

I stepped into the living room to resume the work I was doing on my laptop before I stopped to see Njeb out. The deadline was that day. But ShanNom, our son is in my arms, lying comfortably with his head on my shoulders. He was enjoying my cooing, but refusing to fall asleep. So here I am, my left hand numb from balancing and holding my 8.5kg son, and my right laboring over the laptop’s keyboard.

As if the situation was not bad enough, electricity was interrupted.

Thirty minutes later ShanNom slept off. With arms numb and aching, I placed him in his cot and prayed desperately that this sleep will not be the snooze he is typical of.

Furiously, I continued my work, hammering at the keys to produce the financial report that was due that day. Even with two hands available to work with, only little progress was made – the battery ran out. I couldn’t turn on the generator for power since the fuel was exhausted the night before. I could go out and buy some fuel, but ShanNom should not be left alone.

As the reality of an unmet deadline was dawning, my mind torturously dredged up another deadline: finish reading Francine Rivers’ As Sure As the Dawn. As part of my personal development, I read two books per month. The goal was met in January, but that February it seemed failure wanted a tie with my previous success.

The mental torture increased as I remembered I offered to help Njeb cream margarine and sugar in preparation for a cake meant for a meeting that will hold in our home later that evening. I got up to start creaming, then noticed my untouched breakfast.

So with a plastic bowl balanced in the crook of my left arm, and with a turnstick in my right, I mixed the sugar-margarine content using circular motions, and managed to eat. With the cold breakfast out of the way I picked up Rivers’ book, opened to where the page marker is and resumed reading while creaming. I managed this by holding down both sides of the book with sugar and milk containers. Phew!

Its 10:47 AM. Creaming is done. I continued reading until 11 AM. Reluctantly, I stopped to start making lunch. As I stepped away from the cooker, I froze in midstride. I thought I heard the sound of a baby’s cry.

It’s a baby’s cry alright. I wished fervently that its not ShanNom but my neighbour’s baby. I heard the cry again, the unmistakable wail from my boy. Muttering under my breath I picked him from his cot, not as gently as I normally would. After five minutes I had him squealing in delight by throwing him in the air. Baby’s having fun while daddy’s arm muscles are worn.

My lady came back from her meeting by 12:15 PM. Oh thank God! That was my delightful response when I got the door and found it was Njeb. Mercifully, it was not a visitor who wants a slice of the time I do not have.

She relieved me of ShanNom while I focused on fixing lunch.

At the end of the day, my Accounting deadline was unmet, we enjoyed a tasty lunch, the meeting in our home held (we had a quality time!), I finished the book and my arms no longer hurts.

This may not be my craziest moment, but I remember it vividly.

I bet you’ve had crazy moments. What was your craziest moment like?


Desires of A Dad

photo credit: etsy

I am a father again! I am so thrilled, yet terrified.

This mix of opposite emotions plagued me forty days ago as I held my third child in my arms. The possibility that I may fail as a father filled me with palpable terror.

Will I succeed at parenting?

I have asked myself this question over a million times, since I gazed on my first child’s face for the first time four years ago. The fact that I am not a greenhorn in parenting did nothing to diminish my fear.

Fatherhood is a wonderful, even enviable opportunity and privilege, to demonstrate a semblance of God’s love for me to my children. Yet it is not a piece of cake. Fatherhood, in today’s increasingly secular and godless culture, is a very sobering, if not scary.

I agree with Josh McDowell’s explanation in his book, ‘The Father Connection’ that though

“being a father is the most important and most rewarding job in the world. it is the most frightening!”

Yet I am undaunted!

As a father, I have to finish strong!

My heart’s desire and goal is to be the kind of father:

  • Who takes a cue from God, the model Father, to demonstrate to my children, a semblance of the unconditional love and acceptance God shows me.
  • Who, besides God, is the greatest influence on the lives of his children, especially on matters of spirituality and sexuality.
  • Whose love, care and respect for his wife is so admirable that my daughter will desire to marry someone like their dad, and my sons will resolve to treat their wives likewise.
  • Who is so connected to his children that they are his best friends i.e after my wife, Njeb. And is involved in the lives of his children’s friends.
  • Whose children boldly and unapologetically say no to anything that is against God’s will. I constantly pray for children who will swim upstream, undauntedly against the tide of godlessness and, premarital and immoral sexual pleasures.
  • Whose children are able to make choices, not influenced by their peers or informed by the media, but based on deep convictions informed by the Bible.

These are not wishful thoughts. This is my mission statement as a father.

Parenting is tough, but I believe it is possible to achieve the above, and much more. As long as the ‘Father Connection’ between God and myself is intact, I can, and will become the greatest human influence in the lives of my children, to the glory of God, the model Father.

Are you a father? Probably you hope to be one someday? You can succeed at parenting. You will not fail as a father. Take your cue from the model Father. Put your trust in Him, unreservedly. He gave you the children; He will help father them successfully.

What is your desire/ goal (as a man), or your desire/goal for your man, regarding fatherhood?

Hearing Between the Lines

Photo Credit: http://www.timesunion.com

‘Soft words break the bone’. The words of the wise Jewish Monarch, Solomon David (The Bible, Proverbs 25:15)

Last week I experienced the truth of this sage statement. It was a few minutes past 10 PM, when my wife stepped into the living room where I was working on my laptop. ’After we said goodnight to each other, she asked,

‘Gem, when are you coming to bed? ‘By midnight I answered.’
She took my right hand in both of hers, looked at me wistfully and said in a gentle voice, ‘It’s so nice to go to bed together.’

Photo Credit: http://www.abduzeedo.com

You see, most nights I go to bed at least one hour after Njeb has gone to bed. The time is spent either working or reading. Though my  wife’s statement hardly came across as a criticism or accusation, it was thought provoking. I heard loud and clear what she did not even put in words – ‘I heard between the lines.’ What I heard her say, with my mind and not my ears is, ‘We hardly go to bed together. I’d love for us to go to bed together.’

After I mulled it over, two days later I informed Njeb that I have decided for us to go to bed together four times in a week. It is not an easy decision, but a critical one. Besides, I should learn, to do without consistently bringing work home and create other times for reading. These tasks are nothing compared to marital bliss. I resolve not to be like the insensitive guy in this pix.

The idea of going to bed together may seem unimportant or not a big deal for some, but it is for me, because it means a lot to my wife!

It is very important to learn to listen, not just hear what our loved ones or those around us are saying. Learn to listen enough to catch what has not been said. This is the art of ‘hearing between the lines.’

I have not perfected this ‘art’ but I have resolved to do better than I am doing.

What do you think?