Monthly Archives: August 2011

It’s Hard to Love Your Neighbor

It’s hard to love your neighbor when he almost runs you over in the parking lot.
It’s hard to love your neighbor when she takes 20 items into the 10 items or less lane–and cuts in front of you to get there.
It’s hard to love your neighbor when she not only talks during the movie but explains to her partner exactly what is going to happen next.
It’s hard to love your neighbor when he tosses an empty beer can out of his car window.
It’s hard to love your neighbor when you have to walk through her cloud of cigarette smoke.
It’s hard to love your neighbor when he lets his dog potty in your yard and doesn’t clean it up.
It’s hard to love your neighbor when the “music” from his car drowns out the conversation in your car.

It’s hard to love your neighbor when he mocks you, spits on you, beats you, pierces your hands and feet and side, and leaves you to die in front of your weeping mother.

Well, ok. Maybe I could try harder to love my neighbor.

Back to Blogging – And Thoughts on Spending Time with Our Children

After two months away, I am finally back to the blog. All of my spare time has been taken up with, of all things, performing in a musical (South Pacific, to be specific). No, it’s not a mid-life crisis, though it did bring out the kid in me. Rather, it was an opportunity to take involvement in my eldest daughter’s life to a whole new level.

I applaud parents who support their kids and get them involved with sports or music or dance or martial arts. Such activities are crucial supplements to the education of our children, and they help to keep them away from the TV, the video game, and the shopping mall.

Better yet are those parents who take the time to watch their kids in those activities, to cheer them on, to ask them about their experiences. This kind of communication is critical in the parent/child relationship just as intimate communication is critical in the marriage. If the kids learn to communicate at a young age, they just might find it easier to say what’s on their mind during the more difficult teen years.

I found, however, that I truly hit pay dirt when I take part in my children’s activities. It becomes a shared experience that brings us together in a unique way. It helps to build trust and comradery that I don’t know any other way to create.

Of course, we can’t be active participants in everything our kids do, but here are a few examples of where some can:

1. Coach your child’s rec league team.
2. Join your child in martial arts or dance class.
3. Teach your child a hobby that you can share together, such as fishing, crafting, or gardening.
4. If you play an instrument, practice a duet.
5. Send your child to cooking class and then cook dinner together.

It is easy for a modern parent to become a taxi service. It is an extension of the “married but single” lifestyle that is prevalent today. We have to resist that tendency, as it is an often fatal sickness to families. Being a parent is not the same as being a combination bodyguard, chauffeur, and concierge. It means sharing your life with your children.