Sunday, November 22, 2015

Worm Eating

We were hiking at Bethania yesterday, a normal Erickson thing to do, when Anna Rose decided to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. 

Standing at a fork in the trail, she did not take it (a la Yogi Berra), she kicked up a rock and found a worm.  

She decided to eat it. "Can I?" she asked.

"As long as I get to video you doing it," I said. 

"Ok," she said.

In popped the worm.

Then, she attempted it again!

Anna Rose, you are so full of surprises. I love that you did this! You have given me a reason to laugh...and laugh...and I've watched these videos at least fifty times and I'm still laughing...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thoughts on Free Range Parenting

Thoughts on Free Range Parenting
In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

That’s the beginning of Richard Wilbur’s poem, “The Writer.” My friend Joan shared it with me. We were talking about parenting and wanting great things for our children and fearing that we will in all likelihood screw them up…

She mentioned this poem because The Writer has a daughter and like Joan and I, he also wants things for his child and fears screwing her up…

He wishes her a lucky passage.

I get that wish. That prayer. Whatever you call it. I want my kids to turn out “all right.” It’s what causes the impulse to protect them, to force them to take piano lessons, to drag them to church. I don’t know if any of this will work. After all, there is no guarantee. And whether you believe in luck or not – it’s going to take some for them to make it through unscathed…

He ends the poem with this stanza:

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.

The Writer remembers that raising a child really is a life and death matter. So what to do? How to parent? The Writer decides to pray a different prayer for his child. Not a different outcome, just a different way of getting there…

…for it to be harder.

There’s apparently a movement out there called “Free Range Parenting.” Some parents were trying it out in Maryland, letting their children walk the mile to the park. They got arrested. I don’t know whether they should have gotten arrested or not.

I do know that I love watching my children from far away. There is this mountain that we hike not far from here called Bluff Mountain. It’s this big beautiful bald in the middle of the Blue Ridge where you can see from the top every direction for miles. We’ve hiked it enough that the kids know the way. I let them run. The dogs go with them. I love to watch them climb to the top on their own. I love the little blips they become. So much of my parenting is from so up close.

I don’t know if I’ll subscribe to the Free Range Parent movement. But it does make me wonder how God parents us. We hear a story like the one Jesus told folks about the Prodigal Son and his Free Range Father. I wonder what that means.

What does it say about his love for us…his belief in us…his hopes for our future…

Does he not want lucky passage for us?

Yes. He may not exactly put it in those terms…but yes. Unequivocally yes. He wants us to make it through to the other side…the same wish, but harder.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Halloweeen and the Imaginary Quinoa

This year, Dave Dave decided to be an Ewok for Halloween. We had to patchwork his costume as the Ewok options online were lacking. I must say it helps to be shaped like an Ewok. We used Anna Rose's old puppy costume, some brown pants, my bear slippers, ears from the Great Wolf Lodge and a shawl from Lia. There you have it...Wicket's doppelganger. 

Anna Rose wanted to be a werewolf. We said sure as long as you are not scary-looking. That's the one Erickson rule for Halloween costumes. Online, we found this cute little werewolf costume for "tweens." Perfect. 

The scary part is that Anna Rose looks like a tween. The scarier part is that Anna Rose probably IS a tween. Yikes!

Lia loves Instagram. She follows these people she doesn't know. That didn't come out right. She follows a lot of people she does know. That didn't come out right either. She follows people. And of those people, she follows a few that she doesn't know. Like one based on Barbie. And this other one that her sister Cara got her hooked on called Imaginary Quinoa. 

Imaginary Quinoa has imaginary hipster children. 

After this picture of our children, 

Lia asked Cara what Imaginary Quinoa would say about it. This is what she wrote:

Her answers were SO GOOD...Lia and I are convinced Cara actually IS the Imaginary Quinoa! If anyone can help us find out whether or not our theory is correct, let us know!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Mission Emanuel - Child Sponsorship

One of the cooler parts of Mission Emanuel is their Child Sponsorship program. It's like Compassion International. You help pay for a child's education and basic needs. You get pictures and letters and good feelings in return. Over the years, we have sponsored two Compassion Children, and we will probably support more in the future.

The cool thing about sponsoring a child at Mission Emanuel, at least for us, is that we get to see the child. We plan to go to the Dominican Republic each year to do missions work. While there, we get the chance to spend time with this guy. 


Boy is he fun. And Lia can speak Spanish so we can actually talk with him and his family. Next time we are down there, Alejandro's parents plan to cook us dinner! 

Not only that, our kids get to know him, too. He is more than just a picture to them. I love that. I love how we have a young person in our life who we can support, pray for, and know!

A few weeks ago while we were there, Alejandro and his father came to church with us. Alejandro sat on my lap the entire service. We sang and giggled and did our best to listen. Afterward, just like David, he asked me to swing him around and throw him in the air. It was a joy. 

He nearly broke my back! He certainly melted my heart. 

to sponsor a child like Alejandro Click Here

Tuesday, November 03, 2015