There is a great Mongolian grill a few miles from our home. For about thirty bucks our family can have an all-you-can-eat experience and leave with a fortune cookie in hand. So we all disembarked from our vehicle a few days ago to allow me a reprieve from the kitchen.
Trotting along at a quick pace like hounds scenting a racoon were "The Swofford Boys". Towering walls of courage I can proudly attest to the truth: strong as apes and half as smart. Who would have thought that anyone could survive raising boys?
The eldest is all thick skull, backbone and knuckles. Imagining him a mathematical and literary genius at the time of his birth I slowly come to the realization that he settles all scores with his fists. Specimen no. 2 has small deeply recessed eyes and low set ears. We all know what that means. He also has the personality of a squid.
Christians love naming their progeny after the Biblical patriarchs or the disciples of Jesus. So boys end up with names like Jacob, Matthew or John - which in Texas are shortened to things like Jake, Matt or J.J. I should have named my guys Judas and Beelzebub.
Last month I was whipping up a birthday cake for the son considered the first sign of a man's strength. I briefly considered poisoning the frosting. Instead, a more noble course of action was chosen. I reached for a jar of maraschino cherries.
The book of Proverbs declares, "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him." (Proverbs 127:3)
Children remind us of things we know about ourselves but perhaps have forgotten with life's passage. They remind us of the gifts of the Creator.
*We are gifted with free will. Our children show this gift when they are about two years old and face off their forty pound frame with an adult frame three times their size and weight. As soon as their little vocal cords can yell the word "No!" the gift of free will is in full throttle and unadulterated destructive mode.
*We are gifted with freedom of expression. As our children question our authority and form opinions it reminds us that we also retain such choice today.
*We are gifted to be free moral agents. Human growth and development of our progeny brings us to the fearful season where hormones and brain cells can be a mismatch. These are the years where knees are bent in prayer for our children. The transition from immaturity to full-fledged maturation can take years.
As I was baking for my son Wayne Watson's song "Watercolour Ponies" was playing. It is one of my favorites. The link is below and the actual song starts at the 2:50 mark. Enjoy!