Monday, December 17, 2007

Freedom

To be honest, this has been a year of hell for the Edmondson family. In addition to the usual 10-12 emergency room visits that our boys grace us with, the stress from travel and the business have taken their toll on me. I haven't had a true vacation or any appreciable break all year. The number of events the company participated in ran into each other, meaning the ability to take a break has been impossible.



It's gotten to the point that I think I'd forgotten how to laugh. I've caught myself being more negative about almost everything in general. Cheri—my wife—made that observation the other day. I think her statement was "I don't think you're a negative person. I just think your work has caused you to become jaded, and that's bleeding into the optimistic person I once knew." Ouch! Words can hurt.



So I started my vacation on Friday. It was the first carefree day I've had in a long time. It felt great. No stress. No pressure. I turned off the ringer on my cell phone and ignored it rang all day long from people trying to reach me.



Then this weekend it snowed here in KC. When we woke up today the sun was beaming in the cloudless sky. I looked out the back window across the open field blanketed in white and I felt the outside calling me to come play. Unfortunately, commitments we'd made to others prevented me from getting out in the snow with my boys until mid-afternoon. I bundled them up, grabbed our Wham-O® snow discs (nothing sleds better!), and took them to our secret sledding hill. It was incredible. Just us and the open hill.



It was Brady's first time sledding. I was a little worried my two year old would be afraid. I mean this hill is no small deal—steep and a bit treacherous. But like the brave little trooper he is, the Pidgy climbed right into my lap and trusted me to keep him safe the whole time. He threw care to the wind, his hands flapping in the air as if he were a canvas-covered eagle, laughing as hard as he could throughout the ride. "Dat wath awethum, Daddy!" he shouted at the conclusion of our first ride down the hill. And yes, it was "awethum!"



It was on our third trip down that we rolled off the sled together into the snow and I belly-laughed as well. Flat on my back I stared into the blue sky, tears in my eyes, embracing the moment fully, realizing that this was how life was meant to be lived—fearless, risky, free, passionate.

This was the best day I've had in recent memory. I owe it all the example set by a two year old. Sometimes we just underestimate what we can learn from children. Today I learned to laugh again. And that, if I hold onto it, is enough to get me through any day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm Tattooed


OK, everyone. Many of you have heard the news that I was getting a tattoo. For my birthday on Saturday, I finally took the plunge. After 41 years on the planet, I finally threw caution to the wind and got inked! Just couldn't put it off any longer. You can see the result in the photos on this entry.

To answer the questions of those friends who haven't gotten a tattoo:

Did it hurt? Not really. Like getting a sunburn smacked.

Why so big? Because I didn't know if I'd go through with another one beforehand, so I thought I'd make this one count. After the process I'm already thinking of where my next one will go and what it will be.

What is it? A Trinity symbol surrounded by a wreath of Scottish thistle. Trinity for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thistle to represent the Edmondson heritage.

Do you like it? No. I love it! I can't believe I've waited so long to get one.

Where did you get it? Mercy Seat Tattoo in Kansas City, MO. Chris Orr was my tattoo artist. He is awesome. If you live in the KC area and are looking for a great tattoo studio, go there. They are very professional, polite, and treat their customers with a great deal of respect.

For those friends of mine who have thought of getting a tattoo and have wondered whether or not they should, let me highly recommend it. It was truly a spiritual experience that I do not regret one bit. In the words of a young friend of mine, Jason Sivewright, "We have one life and one body to decorate as we choose. Why wouldn't we decorate it in full color?" I completely agree.

Now, on to bigger challenges!

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Lessons for a Father

The young adult Bible study I co-lead has been going through the book Who Is God? by C.S. Cowles. We’ve been in it for three weeks now and some of the discussion the book has led us into has just been fantastic. Today’s discussion centered around the idea of Jesus as Lord because of the resurrection. Last week we spent our whole hour wrestling with the concepts of if God is almighty and totally sovereign, then why do horrific things happen in the world? It’s just been brilliant discussion.


While it’s been brilliant discussion, I’ve found myself learning more about who God is lately through the gift of fatherhood. My wife and I have two of the most beautiful and brilliant boys to have walked the earth. Logan is five, Brady is 18 months. Both are as strong willed as they come, meaning as they grow, we’ve really got a challenge on our hands.

Logan, in particular, has single-handedly has cost us thousands in his five short years on the planet. Yes, thousands beyond the normal thousands that all kids cost their parents. He has broken 3 TVs, 4 VCRs, 1 DVD player, a microwave, a dishwasher, at least 2 CD players (possibly 3—we’re still debating the one), 2 irons, 3 showerheads (just don’t ask), several cell phones, a vacuum cleaner, a steam cleaner…and that’s the short list. He’s a one-man demolition crew, hands-on learner. He’s got to touch, feel, examine, test, push, pull, smash, and hammer everything he sees. Telling him don’t touch means nothing to him. He will push the limits even though I’ve just gotten the words out of my mouth, even though it means sure retribution will follow. Explaining the reasons why he shouldn’t touch just doesn’t register. He still cannot resist the urge to handle everything, no matter what it might be. He doesn’t do it to annoy us. He doesn’t do it to be bad. He’s just insatiably curious. He can’t resist the call within him to explore his world.

As you might imagine, dealing with Logan alone requires a certain amount of restraint and grace. Every time he touches anything I want to snatch it from his hands for fear he’ll break it. And yet I still have to allow him learn how to do things. How do I allow him to learn the world around him in the way he was created to learn it, and yet still prevent him from bringing our house down around us? I find myself balancing constantly on a massive scale, on the extremes between wanting to scream my fool head off at him at times (as if that will do any good), and wanting laugh my head off at his silliness and genius. What scares me the most is his little brother, Brady, is a lot like him (and we had prayed he might be our calm child—no dice). Yet despite all the frustration they both have caused me, I am head over heals in love with those two boys. They are incredible. I can’t get enough of them.

How like Logan humanity must be for God. He screams warnings at us and we still don’t hear him. We press on with our own plans, headless of what the Heavenly Father wants us to do for our own good. And once we’ve had it our own way, and broken it all to pieces, God still comes in, puts our lives back together, loves us, and extends grace just a little farther.

I just love being a father. Thank goodness God loves being a heavenly Father to humanity.