The Puny Pundit

Musings of a big guy with small thoughts.

Recurring Dreams

I am one of those people who wakes up most mornings with a clear memory of what I dreamed about that night.  Not sure if it is because of the caffeine but my dreams are usually very vivid.  For the last 12 years I have two recurring dreams.  This may border on “too much information” so bear with me.

DONALD DUCK DREAM

For the last 12 years I have this dream that I am preaching with nothing covering my bottom.  I am only wearing a shirt.  For some reason that shirt is always really short.  No pants.  No undies.  Donald Duck.  Some of you are thinking, “But you preach behind a podium or pulpit so what does it matter?”  True.  In my dreams I am always preaching behind a pulpit.  However, there is the trip up to the pulpit.  There is the singing time before the sermon.  Lastly, there is the meet and greet after the sermon.  In this recurring dream no one ever comments on my weird exposure.  It is weird to me that no one in my dream can notice because I am constantly trying to cover myself up in my dream.  Can anyone interpret this for me?

IMPROVISATIONAL DREAM

The second recurring dream I have is I end up in a scene where I am getting ready to preach.  While I am walking up to the pulpit I realize I have no clue what I am preaching on.  No passage.  No notes.  Every time I have this dream, I do a little intro, “Hey everyone.  Good to be here with you.  It is so good to be here…”  During this time I am flipping through my bible to find a passage to preach on.  I usually wake up from this dream very anxious and with my heart racing fast.  It is important to note that I have never ever gone up to preach without knowing what I would be preaching on in real life.  Any thoughts?

How about you?  Any recurring dreams?

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Damn You Disney

A little while ago I was hanging out with #5 and I asked her a series of questions.

Me: What is your favorite color?

#5: Yellow

Me: What is your favorite movie?

#5: TinkerBell

Me: Who is your favorite person in the whole world?

#5: TinkerBell

Me: No.  Who is your favorite person?  Tinker Bell is not a person.  Who is your favorite person?

#5: I said TinkerBell.

Me: Really?

#5: Yes.

Me: Well that is not nice.  You don’t even like me more than TinkerBell.

#5: I like you both the same.

I hate Disney.  They are too good at what they do.

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Back to the Future

My father told me a long time ago that he use to ask God everyday, “God, whatever I have done well as a parent, let it stay with my sons. Whatever I have done wrong, help them to forget and cover my mistakes.” My dad is an amazing man however he is not and was not perfect. Growing up I struggled with my relationship with my dad. Looking back now, I realize that just as he had expectations for me and of me, I was no different. When I was a kid I always thought my dad was disappointed because he couldn’t accept me for who I was. But you know, I was the same way. I expected my dad to play catch with me. I expected him to come to my sports games. I wanted him to talk to me about girls and life. I couldn’t accept him for who he was and therefore didn’t appreciate the sacrifices he had to make for us.

All this to say, like all of us, I have scars from my childhood. One day however, I saw something that completed a long healing process. A few years ago, my wife and I took our kids down to visit my parents as we do once in awhile. Nothing out of the ordinary. My dad was outside playing with the kids. He was making silly faces. He made silly voices. He was chasing them. He was swinging them around and giving them piggy back rides. All of a sudden I saw this ordinary picture in an extraordinary way. It hit me…watching my dad play with his grandkids gave me a window into what my dad would have done with me if he could do it all over again.

How did this heal me? All the things I wished my father was to me, he is with his grandkids. It healed me because I see in him as a grandfather, the father he always wished he could be with my brother and me. God answered the prayers of a good man who in his goodness did the best he could at the time and who in his humility knew he wasn’t perfect. My dad always tells me that the younger generation has the opportunity to correct the mistakes of the generation that precedes it. My dad is teaching me how to be a better father by being a great granddad.

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Bud

One of my favorite shows growing up was the Cosby Show.  Not only was it one of the most important shows, with respect to race and stereotypes, it was dang good.  One of my favorite plot lines of the story was Rudy’s friendship with Bud.  If you remember Bud was the boy from the neighborhood who always regurgitated his older brother’s chauvinisitic view of gender roles. Well in one of the episodes Bill Cosby discovers that Bud’s name isn’t Bud.  It is Kenny.  Rudy just called Kenny by the name Bud because she felt like it.

The other day my wife was walking #4 back from school.  On the way back a boy from school recognized #4 and started walking with my girl.  She introduced the boy to my wife as Rex (names have been altered).  She kept calling him Rex.  Obviously my wife thought the kid’s name was Rex.  The next day #4 comes home and says, “Rex’s name is Mike!”

Here is the funny thing.  My daughter has been calling Mike by the name Rex for a few days and he never said a word.  Here is the funnier thing…the day #4 learned Rex’s real name she forgot it again.  When she saw him walking home she leaned over to my wife and asked, “Mommy.  What is Rex’s name?”

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What Dreams May Come

When I was in high school, our family gathered for breakfast every morning.  One morning I noticed my mom wasn’t eating with us even though she joined us at the table.  She kept making funny faces and noises like her lips were on fire.  I ask what happened and my dad has a huge grin on his face.  My mom is kind of annoyed so she tells my dad to explain.

While they were sleeping my dad had a bad dream.  In the dream a mugger grabbed my mom’s purse and started to run off.  In the dream, my dad reaches out for the bag and tries to rip it out of the hands of the mugger.  It turns out that in real life he was grabbing my mom’s lips like it was a bag and started yanking like there was no tomorrow.  My mom is awakened by this act and starts screaming.  My dad wakes up and gets a earful from my mom.  Being the sensitive guy he is, he starts laughing.

I will never forget that morning.  As mad as my mom was at my dad, even she couldn’t stop laughing.

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In It To Win

A few weeks ago I took my family on a trip to Vegas for vacation.  I am sure some of you have opinions and questions about taking kids to sin city.  Actually, Vegas has a lot for families.  You just have to be careful and creative at night.  One day we went to the Excalibur hotel where they had carnival games and an old school arcade.  It is really run down but we figured the kids wouldn’t care.

We pulled out $80 from our bank account and figured that would last us all afternoon.  WRONG!  After an hour the kids blew through countless games very quickly.  During this activity time my wife noticed something interesting.  All the kids except #1 picked games to play based on the prizes they offered. Regardless of what the game was, they just focused on the prize.  For instance, my son saw that one booth was giving out electric guitars.  It’s the game where there are hundreds of wine bottles and you toss rings trying to get it on the neck of the bottle.  As most of you know that game is impossible.  I paid the guy $5 for 72 rings.  My son was done after 60 seconds.  He tossed them like ninja stars.  It was kind of funny.  He almost hit the guy manning the booth a few times.  He wanted to play again because of the prize.

#1 is totally different.  She only played games she could win.  She never paid attention to the prizes.  She carefully walked around the carnival games and discerned which ones she had a legitimate shot at winning.  This observation reveals two things about #1.  First, she is incredibly competitive.  She only plays to win.  For the other kids playing is most of the fun.  Not for #1.  It is not fun unless you are winning.  She gets this from me.  I have the same mentality.  In it to win.

The second thing this reveals about #1 is that she is very logical, having a strong ability to connect the dots.  You see for #1 it is totally ridiculous to play a game where you walk away with nothing.  That makes no sense to her.  After my son chucked 144 rings he still wanted to play more.  #1 thought that game was a waste of money because she realized very quickly that the ring toss game was impossible to win.

I remember when #1 was learning how to talk (between 1.5 and 2 years of age), she would often whisper words she was trying to say.  I thought that was so strange until my wife pointed out that she was doing that because #1 didn’t like saying anything out loud unless she felt she could do it right.  She would practice speaking words under her breath until she was able to perfect it and speak well enough to be understood.  It was amazing to me that even at a young age she had a philosophy that anything worth doing was worth doing well.

#1 gets her competitiveness from me.  She gets her ability to connect dots from her mom.  You would think after having five kids it would be normal and common sense that kids are like their parents.  However it never ceases to amaze me how our kids take on our attributes.  That reality is both scary and beautiful.

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