Last week in church the paster talked about the importance of fathers in the lives of their daughters. Specifically, how studies have shown that girls with positive paternal input are more likely to succeed, and those girls without positive paternal input search for it in other males that do not have pure and honest intentions towards them.
Our pastor also shared a story about orphaned male elephants that were living on a wildlife reserve in South Africa. The biologist on the reserve began to notice strange behavior from the young orphan male elephants. They were secreting a strange liquid. They would also stab hippopotami with their tusks, and then force them under water, and drown them. As it turns out, in the wild this liquid is a sign to older male elephants that this young male is looking for a "father figure," and the older male elephant will take the young male and teach him how to be a mature elephant. These orphan elephants did not have that positive male role model, and were struggling to figure out how to me a mature responsible elephant. The connection from elephants to humans is not that much of a stretch. Young humans with out a positive male role model do the same thing.
All this to say, I decided that I needed to actively try to be a positive role model for the girls, and that as part of that I would come up with ways to connect with each one of them. So that they would know that I love them, and when tough times come they can think of this connection, and know I am always there for them.
Emery and I created a secret hand shake. However, she refers to it as our secret milkshake. Here we are in action...
Sunday, June 26, 2011
The Girls hung out with me in the shop on Friday. Mom had gone to a meeting. "Well, I guess I am not going to get much done at work today." I thought. After mom left I was struggling to think of what to do with them. Then I remembered my cub scout days. "A bird house, of course. What an easy, and great thing to build with them." I thought. So, we embarked on a building excursion that I will remember for a long time.
We began to gather the materials and get the tools out. "Can we paint it." The oldest asked. "Yes." I said, as I continued to get all the materials and tools organized. "Can we paint it now." The middle one chimed in. "In a minute, we have to build it first." I answered. This seemed to satisfy them for a while, and buy me a little time to get this bird house put together. "Build like the wind." I thought, you are dealing with a time bomb.
However, I did want to take advantage of the "teachable moments," and teach them about tools and measurements. So, as we began our project I talked to them about speed squares, T squares, goggles, (which they loved, and wanted to take home to wear), tape measures, (we talked about how many inches are in a foot), and how to use the jig saw. Then it came time for cutting.
"Anyone want to help me cut out the bird house." "Ahhh, no, no." Was the reaction from the oldest and the youngest, but the middle one was all in. So, she hopped up on a stool and began to help me cut out the side of the bird house. We started the saw, and just like in the movies, there were screams all around. I finished cutting out the bird house while the girls stood with their fingers in their ears screaming.
"Can we go paint it now?" Asked the the oldest, again. "We have to put it together." I answered. "Ughhhhh! When can we paint?" They whined in unison. "Soon, we just need to attached the pieces." I said. I went to get the pneumatic brad gun. I thought, as most men would that this would be the highlight of the build. I mean come on, shooting a brad with 90 pounds of air. Awesome! So, I get it all set up and ask if anyone wants to help.
Tears all around. "No don't shoot the birds." They cried. "I am not shooting birds. This is to hold the house together." I tried to explain. It didn't matter, they were not having it. I put the bird house together quickly, and announced that it was time for paint.
"Yay!" they screamed with joy. "I will go pick out the colors." The oldest said, and ran to the paint room. The other two followed right behind and they began to search for paint. I put the bird house on the floor and realized "I am a dead man if these kids get paint on their clothes." I tried to think of how to keep paint off kids clothes. Then I realized I was dead, because there is no way to keep paint off of kids clothes. No matter what you put on them, cover them with, or spray them with, paint will stick to kids. But I knew I had to do something. So, this is what I did...
I was very proud of my innovation. They had a good time painting the bird house, and I thought all was well. Then I took the bags off the children. I even took scissors, and cut the bags off the children, so as not to get paint on the children. I was feeling good about myself, then, out of no where and like a demon in the night, paint on the youngest's shirt. "You have got to be kidding me." I thought. I should have known, because there is no way to keep paint off of kids.
I was scrambling to find something to take the paint out of her shirt. Then I had an awesome idea. Acetone. I put some acetone on a rag and tried to wipe it off. It just bled into the fabric. "No, no, no, you are supposed to work. Why aren't you working." I thought. And just like that, I was dead. My only hope was that mom would love the bird house, and not notice the paint, yeah right.
Mom got there, and did love the bird house. She was anxious about the painting, but after the girls told her they wore plastic garbage bags. She came over, and gave me a hug. "You covered them up. I am so proud of you." She said. "But one got paint on her shirt." I answered. "Oh, that shirt is old, as long as you didn't get it on her shorts. But you covered them up." She gave me a hug. "I am so proud of you. And I love my bird house." She said. "Miracles never cease." I thought. Here is the bird house...