I’m Trying To Be More Of A “Yes” Parent

This originally was written for the weekly evo on whillschurch.org

Cooper and I stayed up to midnight Monday night to get the ‘new’ Halo:Anniversary Edition video game. It’s actually an old game that they’ve digitally remastered. Think the Star Wars movies in the ’90s without making Han Solo shoot second. (Yes, Lucas…we are still mad about this. And it’s not going to matter if you put it in 3-D. Han shot Guido first and it should stay like that. And I’m not thrilled about the end of Return of the Jedi on the Blu-Ray either…another post, another time.)

We do things like this. We did the midnight Harry Potter movie experience – both part 1 and part 2. We did the midnight Star Wars experience. And now the Halo Midnight Experience. And so far, they’ve always been fun but last night was a bit different. The crowd was a bit different. Lots of black, wallets on chains, goth, boot wearing kind of people. Not really what I was expecting.

I’ll let my texts between Amy and I tell the story…

Amy: Lots of people there?

Grant: (Sends above picture) Yep.

Amy: Anyone Coop’s age or all older?

Grant: All older. And probably all live in their parent’s basement. With Cheetos.

Amy: Ha ha

Grant: I’m dead serious. I honestly think that most of these people are not normal.

Grant: Cooper just informed me that if he had a Master Chief outfit, he’d totally be rockin’ it right now. I told him … “By yourself.”

Grant: The guy behind me just said that this line (around 75 people) is small compared to last week. (It’s like this is church or something..) I’m tempted to turn around and ask how does he have the money to buy new games every week but then that would probably lock me into a conversation with a guy that I really don’t want to talk to.

Amy: No need for weird random conversations at midnight.

Grant: Amen to that.

A few seconds of silence…

Grant: There are some REALLY weird people out here. I really need to tweet some of this stuff.

Amy: Don’t forget – you are in that line as well.

Awkward moment of realization.

Two things that are important about this experience, though. First, there was another game released beside Halo this week. Some game called the Elder Scrolls or Trolls Are Us or Dark Magic. It explains all the goth that was being thrown down in the line Monday night.

Second, I really wanted to stay home. But I’m glad I went. That’s a night that won’t happen again. That’s laughter and a memory that one day we will both tell around the Thanksgiving table with multiple generations. And all it cost me was just a few hours sleep. That’s it. Small price to pay.

I’ve caught myself at times taking the lazy way out of parenting. Saying ‘no’ to things that really don’t have a moral or value judgement behind it. More like – “I’m tired and I want to be left alone” value. And there are times when I absolutely need some alone time to recharge and refocus…but it can’t be at the expense of my family. Can’t.

Ephesians 1:3 got me thinking about this. Our Heavenly Father has given us every spiritual blessing in Jesus. Anything that has to do with a relationship with Him, deepening an experience with God, He has said “YES” at every single point. Jesus was the biggest YES in history. No – you’re to sinful, messed up. I’m too busy, too pure comments from God. Jesus was his “Yes” to every relational question and pursuit to humanity.

I want to be that kind of dad to my kids as well. Anything that is going to deepen my relationship – yes. Anything that is going to further their journey towards and with Jesus – yes. And when my first reaction is to say “no”, I’m going to pause and ask ‘how come?’ Is there a deeper value at play here? Is this a situation where I need to protect? Or is the ‘no’ just part of being lazy?

We got home and played the first mission. Coop crawled into bed by 1 am. We were both seriously dragging Tuesday morning…but it’s just sleep.

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