Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Don't Lose Your Guns - SQOTW

Did I trick ya? With the last post, I mean. Did you think we weren't going to make it to even 251? Well, I told you I had a Bill Mallonee post coming, just like every Tuesday. And getting to that, here's a cool song he wrote early, early, early in his career with VOL about his kids.

tender young flower grown up in my garden
and i pray ever day that your heart will not harden
a cynic's song surrounding you on each and every street
at the altar in the bar in the faces you will greet

don't lose your guns, don't lose your guns, don't lose your guns

a gift of something so profound straining all these words
a gift of something so astounding dying to be heard
bone of my bone you are flesh of my flesh
blood of my blood you are breath of my breath

don't lose your guns, don't lose your guns, don't lose your guns

you are my pride child and yes you are my crown
how to keep the darkness from dragging you down
i feel the weight of what i am and what i am not yet
i'd like to pass on something besides all these deficits

don't lose your guns, don't lose your guns, don't lose your guns

-- Don't Lose Your Guns, Vigilantes of Love from the Driving the Nails CD

The bookends of this song are just so meaningful to me. I guess if you don't have kids, and this really sort of points to having boys more than girls with the "guns" association (although even with girls you get the idea), it may not speak to you, but it does to me.

Yesterday, I went to pick up my seven year old from Kid's Club (after-school care) to take him to his first baseball game. I was pretty excited and trying to get him pumped for the competition as we're walking out to the car. Let's win, win, win baby! We get to the door, and he looks up at me, smiles, and says, "Daddy, I've got three caterpillars in my pocket." I stopped for a moment and just reflected. There I was trying to grow him up, and there he was being that precious child that I love (and, for the most part, wish that he'd stay that way longer). "Can I keep them?" he asked. "We can keep them in a two liter bottle." At first I was going to try to think of a reason not to, but after reflecting, I said, "Why not. We'll find something to put them in." I doubt this gets across, but it was just one of those cool daddy/son moments that I'm not going to have with him much longer. We already are having and have had a lot of dad/son stuff, but the daddy/son times are going the way of the dodos.

Both my boys have such tender hearts. As a parent, I have a chance to try to let them live in their innocence or help grow them out of it. Sure, I'm supposed to teach them as they grow to become fine lads, then teens, then hopefully usher them into adulthood with a love for Christ and others, but sometimes I'm rushing things. Meanwhile, the world around them ain't helping me out any either. Some of the terms they've learned at school and the ideas that have been conveyed to them from other boys aren't so innocent. And that's only gonna get worse. BUt like the song says, I'll pray for their hearts to stay soft... to not harden.

Then, that ending says so much as to what our job is as parents. Trying to pass along the good and teach them to forsake the bad. The bad that I am. The bad that I do and have done. There's a whole pile of "Rich"ness I hope neither of my boys have to lug through life with. Because they're human too, they'll have enough to struggle with on their own. If only I could pass on the good. So that's what I set my heart on, and I'll see what happens.

And speaking of kids, it's time to go pick one up! I'll talk to all of you later.


codepoke said...

We always said we were going to warp 'em, so we may as well warp in ways we can live with. :-)

At 16 and 17, they seem to be enjoyable, even after all the divorce crud has been dumped on them. I think they are both going to make it.

DugALug said...

Really nice Rich,

I think this embodies most parent's delimna.