During my Emmaus walk there were many sermons or “talks” that were given either by clergy or by lay people. All were applicable and I’m sure each one touched the Emmaus pilgrims differently and at various times. One that particularly him home with me was given by the spiritual director of the walk during one of the daily communion times.

He related a story of his kids who used to jump on the bed when they were little. They would perch themselves on the edge, teeter a bit, and then launch themselves into the air towards him — with complete faith that he would catch them. (For me, that was lesson #1 in that we should have faith like a child [Mark 10:13-16] even though it wasn’t the point of the message.)

After catching them, he would throw them down onto the bed and they would bounce. His kids would then jump back up and say “Do it again, Daddy!”. He would then repeat that over and over. Perch, teeter, leap, catch, throw down, repeat.

He equated that to holy communion for us. When we are celebrating the eucharest, in essence what we are saying to God is “Do it again, Daddy”. It is an exciting, cherished time with our Creator. On the down side, it’s too bad we need holy communion because of our sin. But aren’t we lucky that we have a loving and forgiving God who has provided a way of forgiveness, grace, and salvation through his sacrificed son, Jesus Christ? Do it again, Daddy! We should praise each holy communion with thanks and gratitude.

What hit me was a statement he made later in the message. He said that when they played that game, his kids were never the ones to stop it. They would still be saying “Do it again, Daddy” now 15 years later (with which he gestured throwing a full grown son with extreme difficulty onto the bed). That hit me because I play games with my kids. And I am always the one to stop playing the games. To my credit, I am spending time with them and the family. However, I usually finally end the games because I “have something to do” — something on my list that needs tending to. Something on TV to watch. Something that needs fixing. Something that needs tending to. But what is more important that needs tending to than tending to my kids and family? It hit home with me and I added something to my “next week’s” list — the mental list I am creating to do as I leave my Emmaus walk….. because that’s what we, as guys, do — make lists.

I am committed to “not end the game” next week when I am playing with my kids.

So fast forward to last night after dinner. I was playing “tackle” with K and D. This was a much easier game when they were 3-8 years old. Now that they are almost 12 and almost 10, my body takes a beating. No longer can I sluff off their leaps on my chiropractor back or their octopus-like attachment to my legs when I try to walk. I was playing with them last night and I had D pinned and was tickling him while K tried to “rescue” him by leaping onto my back. He was screaming in giggles while I was on my knees and had my head down on the carpet. He then said I was bleeding which I dismissed as a ploy to get me to stop tickling him. He repeated it and I lifted my head up enough to see a nice blood stain on the carpet. We all paused to assess further and stopped when we all realized that it was real. I had a nice scrape/abrasion on my forehead right at my hairline. And because it was near my scalp it was bleeding profusely like head wounds do. I headed to my daughter’s bathroom, wiped it quickly and grabbed some stuff to clean up the carpet. It didn’t take long and soon we had everything cleaned up. And, technically, I didn’t stop the game.

I challenge all of you with kids to “not end the game”. Take advantage of them wanting to be with you. Because soon enough they will be teenagers and too cool to be with you.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

2 Comments

  1. Mrs. Aslowerpace says:

    So quit telling everyone it was spousal abuse!

  2. Nancy B says:

    Great story Dan – and Maria’s comment has been laughing out loud at my desk. I would like add onto your story if I may. Way stop with the kids – why not extend that to your spouse? But then again with abuse… 🙂 Now that our kid is grown up I find that Les and I do that to each other now. There is always something that “needs” to be done, but really what is more important? Thanks for sharing the story.

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