Thursday, February 13, 2014

Leaders are Readers

Greetings friends and family,

Tam and David are our good friends and have been for years now.  She made us a crock pot of chicken soup and dropped it off for dinner.  This was a great gesture, but the back story is what makes it truly amazing.  She has a few jobs (real estate, business administrator, house cleaning service, etc.) and she took on the time-consuming task of designing and publishing the workbook for the conference Kendra and I will teach in a few weeks.  I'm grateful, but in a way that my words aren't able to convey.  It's one thing to give a few hours of time when you have an abundance.  True sacrifice is giving many hours to something with no profit when your time is already squeezed.  I just want to express my gratitude and write out how this feels to have great friends who go the extra mile with us and for us.

While many of my family are digging out from snow or praying for rain to ease the drought we are here in Phoenix saying, "Let's go play in the grass!"

I come in the door from work and feel the twin-pact of Uno and Dos running me over to get hugs.  That brief moment is all I need after a long day of work.  I switch hats from manager/employee to king daddy and away we go.  The twins are over their sick days with only an occasional cough or sneeze as a remnant.  Kendra and I are both barely past the "I would cut my nose off so it stops running if I had the strength" phase.  We moved onto the recovery stage where we don't quite feel good enough to exercise, but as long as we are sitting still everything cooperates well.

There are dandelions randomly popping through the grass by the park.  The twins picked every feathery top and blew off the seeds while making wishes.

Layla wouldn't tell me what she wished for, but there are some things it is ok to keep secret from Daddy.  This is one...  I can't think of anything else because we don't have secrets in our house.  We cultivate an atmosphere of openness in all aspects.  For example, during our high-low sharing at dinner time we found out Easton kissed a girl and Layla pulled a girl's tooth out.

These were both presented as a "low", but Kendra and I had to exercise extreme self-control no to laugh through both of their stories.

Layla's friend was showing her loose tooth to some friends.  Layla offered to pull it.  the friend accepted.  Layla reached in her mouth and yanked it out!   No blood or screaming or anything like that.  She was being helpful and Layla's friend received it as such.  However, the playground monitor didn't know about their accord.   They both were reprimanded, but Kendra and I congratulated her while encouraging her to act appropriately next time and avoid pulling teeth on the playground.

Easton is a loving boy.  He gives away hugs and kisses to our family as easily and often as Layla gives away smiles.  He has a girlfriend named Jordan.  He doesn't know what the term girlfriend means.  He just knows she is a girl and is his friend.  end of story.  Apparently they were on the playground during recess and Easton gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  somebody ratted him out and he was reprimanded.  He was slightly shameful when he told us the story, but Kendra and I congratulated him on being such a loving boy while encouraging him to act appropriately next time by obeying school policy of no kissing.

These two are such joys.

Layla is way ahead of her class with regards to reading skills.  Easton is somewhere in the middle, but gaining ground quickly.  When we look at signs as we drive and when I read a book, the twins correct me and know when I'm not fully reading every word.  I get a lot of "what's that word?" questions now and sometimes I don't really want to answer.  Here is Easton reading his book for homework.  His hat is supposed to be George Washington's hat because they learned about presidents day.  Watching a six-year-old read simple sentences isn't superhero worthy.  However, I am certain that leaders are readers.  That means he is taking his first steps towards being a leader.

The birthday week/month is over...  i think.  There was one final gift I wanted to give Layla that I am too cheap to pay retail for.  I finally found a good used one on Craigslist and bought it.  Yes, that is obviously wrapped by Daddy.  Guess what?  Layla didn't care.

She eagerly tore off the wrapping paper and knew exactly what it was before the first layer was gone.

It's a Zuca bag.  You might be thinking, "a WHAT bag?"  I was too before entering the world of ice skating.  This is a steel frame and attached case that is made for ice skate transportation.  Inside the doors of the ice skating rink you'll find kids pulling their stuff around in the same way you would find adults pulling their luggage through an airport terminal.  The pink polka dots and light-up wheels make this one perfect fit.  It only took four weeks of daily searching Craigslist and negotiating for me to get my hands on one.  She was thrilled!

It gave me yet another opportunity to explain what a gift is.  Many people give gifts with conditions.  Meaning, they give something, but it is based on past performance or future expectations.  We despise that at the Casa de Webb.  When you get something as a good consequence for performance that not a gift.  A gift is something we choose to give Easton or Layla because we love them.  period.  I make sure they understand that a gift is my choice to give, but that's where I stop.  True gifts are given without any expectations.

That's the nature and character of God and that's my role as father of the twins:  to imitate God and form their image of Him through my parenting as a father.  If I give gifts only when they deserve it then they will not know grace.  They will only know performance and awards based on merit.  If I give gifts with expectations of what they do with it, then I remove their ability to choose and turn it into conditional giving.  That's not the way God gives so that's not the way we give.  I'm not suggesting we are perfect, but we have a role model that sets the standard for our parenting.  Parenting is much easier when all I have to do is imitate God...  Assuming you know the nature and character of God.

See you soon!

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