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A Brave New World of Responsibility -- Parenting for Departure- Part 2

There's another adult in my house now.  A couple of days ago, there were only two, my wife and I.  Now there's been a third added. You guessed it:  my oldest son turned 18.  He's officially an adult.  Wow.  Our lives are about to change.

There's so much that is now involved in this scenario.  He's an adult now.  That means responsibility.  That wretched word.  Responsibility.  Don't get me wrong:  this young man is relatively responsible for his age.  He's a great provider and model for his brother (in most cases).  He's working.  He took the initiative to get his driver's license.  And he's cooki...well we're still working on that.  He can make a mean bowl of cereal though!

Responsibility.  The transition between being a teenager to an adult is huge, but should be more of a gentle transition.  Todd Kestin, a licensed social worker, wrote in the Huffington Post. Basing a point from the book, The Case Against Adolescence:  Rediscovering the Ad…
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Do It Yourself -- Part 1 of Series, 'Parenting for Departure'

I would go to the basement to wash clothes and often smell this weird odor, like something had been burning, but could never figure out what it was.  Each time I used the washer I would smell it.  I thought it was the dryer.  Well, that wasn't it.

My son went to go wash clothes and noticed that the washer stopped working in the middle of the cycle.  I went down to see and saw the plug had COMPLETELY burned out in the socket, underneath some fabric.
Praise God it didn't spark and cause damage to the house.  So my next thought was, 'How am I going to fix this?'

I took a picture of the serial number, called Sears, put in an order for a new power cord, and waited for the arrival.  I'm not too sure why I thought I could put in a new power cord.  I've never done that before.  I figured I better figure it out; the laundromat was getting expensive.

I got some great advice from a friend at church.  He told me to make the boys help me do things around the house.  I to…

Parenting for Departure

It was a violently cold night.I parked about a block away in Adams Morgan and briskly walked to Bourbon, a restaurant/ bar that specializes in (you guessed it), bourbons.  I was enjoying a birthday celebration with some incredible men that I've known for years.  All of us were fathers, some of young kids and some who are clearly in their twenties.  Since I arrived there last, I had to sit next to the door. People walked in and out, neglectfully leaving the door open.  Ummm, did they not realize that it was -216 degrees?!? I digress.  We talked about different things, such as football, whiskeys, and of coarse, our kids. It was inevitable.  As I mentioned, some of these fathers were already empty-nesters.  As the conversation continued, one of the men said something that completely stuck with me.

"You have to parent for departure.", he said.  Profound.  I don't remember anything else from the night.  It was if Charlie Brown was listening to his teacher as she said, '…

Down & Dirty- Having Serious Conversations with Your Children

I have two sons, 16 and 12.They truly keep my life moving. As I have told many people (as well as those who personally know us), my house stays live, never a dull moment.I can boldly say that since I have been married and with children, I have yet to be bored in over 18 years!God knows how to make life to the fullest!
Well, that brings me to this point.  A part of having an ever-exciting time in my home is due to talks.  You know…talks.  Yes, there are the talks about the birds and the bees.  But who are we really fooling, birds and the bees are really about sex!  Just say it…sex!  What I know of sex is often times completely different from what my boys know.  And it can be shocking about how much they know and how much they don’t know. Okay, we move on.
Then there are other real talks.  Talks about life, chores, responsibility, girls, friendships, money, family, school, and the list goes on and on.  I am reading a devotional series on ‘Being a Fulfilled Father’.  The devotional I read…

As I Do So They Do--- Imitating Parental Habits

"I like driving with one hand.", my son says as he drives for the fourth time in his life.

How about this one: "I want to drive with my knees." 

My son hasn't been behind the wheel a full hour in his life yet, and he's talking about driving with his knees?!? Where did he get that from? Where did he understand that driving with one hand was okay or using my phone while on 495 was cool?  

In fact, where do most of the things that my children do get it from?  You guessed it...their mother!  I will not take responsibility for...okay, I'll stop.  Yes, they get their habits from me.

I know I've written about this in the post to some extent, but I believe it's worth mentioning again.  Our kids watch us like a hawk although they might not be looking at us directly.  They see and hear your habits, including the good and often bad habits.  Understanding that they see me, I gotta figure out how I need to change for their betterment.  

I read an online article w…

Somebody's Watching Me (You too!)

You remember that song by Rockwell?  "I always feel like somebody's watching me. And I have no privacy.",  as Michael Jackson adds his infamous, "Hee hee" in the background.  I know we have all had moments when you felt that eyes were on you.  You weren't sure who was looking at you or why, but they were.  No, this doesn't have to spook you out.  In fact, sometimes it good.

I was recently at a party celebrating a milestone birthday.  The lounge scene was live and people were really excited.  The live reggae music, dancing, West Indian food, and people everywhere had set the stage for a very festive evening.  It was so much fun.  A relative of ours (we'll call him Joe for this purpose) was getting ready to leave.  He and his wife had a long journey back and had to get to work the next day.  I saw him and gave him proper respects as he was preparing to leave.  He later turns around in the midst of the loud band and singing and says, "I appreciate …

You Never Know -- A Lesson From on Judgements

As I write this we are experiencing Blizzard Jonas, the blizzard of 2016, in which we are expecting anywhere between 12-30 inches with wind gusts up to 65 mph.  Well, we found out that different agencies needed clothing and canned foods.  We had some in the house, so we traveled into DC before the road restrictions took place and receive a $972,463 fine to donate.  My youngest and I walked into Central Union Mission to donate.  As I filled out the donation receipt, an African American man walked in and asked for a free sandwich.  The attendant gave him one without any reservation.  When I really took notice of this man, he looked like all was stable.  He had on a long, black trench coat, was decently shaven, slacks, decent shoes, and a black bag with him.  He left out and I was struck with a 'wow' moment.  Here's why.


The day before, I had on a very similar outfit.  I wore a long black trench coat with a black derby, khakis and carried my black bag.  If you put us side by s…