Author: Parent Cue

Lessons from a Dirty Diaper

By Jared Herd After nine months of painting, hanging, woodworking, assembling, and hammering, my son, Dane Everett, came into the world. The pregnancy process is such a fascinating time, beautifully built into the rhythm of life by God. I thought the nine months would drag on, but we loved and needed those nine months to ready ourselves. And I now consider it an act of grace that one’s wife doesn’t run in with a pregnancy test crying one morning and the next day you are handed a crying infant. That would evoke all the emotions of a car crash for me, and the nine months make it feel like a pot of gold at the end of rainbow. It was the night of January 8, 2012. I had just finished watching Tim Tebow knock off the Steelers, and like most American males, I was running around the house tebowing. We finished dinner, went to bed, and around midnight Rosanna let out a noise of grimace that only a woman who is two days overdue can make. Subsequently, I ended my tebowing and immediately shifted into The Black Eyed Peas “I Got a Feeling”—in particular, the line that says, “Tonight’s gonna be a good, good night.” This excitement continued as I drove us to the hospital at 3 a.m., on the foggiest night in Georgia history, all the way up...

Read More

A Simple Plan

It was a simple plan. As a way to spend time with my daughters and give us something to have fun with all summer, we decided to build a tree house. After the first weekend, it was a few boards stuck to a couple of trees. The second weekend didn’t improve things much. In fact, it looked more like we were building an awkward swing set than a tree house. After a month, we had a small platform between the trees. The girls were impressed. I was disappointed about how slow we were progressing. We could have stopped there. We had already enjoyed a great time together and it  compared well with some other tree houses they had seen, but after a few months we still saw something in our backyard that looked closer to a beginning than an ending. Our fun project had begun to be a work project. The thought crossed my mind more than once to hang up my hammer, tell the girls it was finished, and devote my weekends to watching football, or grilling, or napping, or any of the hundreds of other things that were feeling more fun. And then something began to happen that wasn’t in our plan. People had been watching as we braved the heat, and the hauling, and the smashed fingers, and the splinters. . .Neighbors began to come into...

Read More

Top Posts of 2012

There’s no better way to wrap up the last day of December than a Year in Review list. The best of the best all at once! Here are our Top 5 Posts on Orange Parents in 2012! #1 Three Minutes by Reggie Joiner I’m sure you have heard the news. There’s no reason to recap details or re-analyze the circumstances surrounding the events of last Friday. Over the next week, our country will be inundated with stories and images of the 20 children and 6 educators who were killed on December 14. It only took about three minutes to traumatize a community and shock a nation. But as the whole story of what happened in those three minutes has been revealed, it’s obvious that evil was not the only force at work. Read more. . . #2 What Every Dad Should Know About His Daughter by Gina McClain Several weeks ago I was dropping my daughter off for a birthday party. As I was leaving a man stopped me asking for directions. He was standing with one of my daughter’s school friends. Immediately recognizing her, I put my hand out and introduced myself explaining that our daughters sit together at lunch often. His reaction was sarcastic as he gave his daughter a side-ways glance. He made a negative comment regarding his daughter as he looked at her. Her response to him...

Read More

Look Out Your Window

by an Orange Parent As I continue down this crazy journey called “parenting,” I keep discovering that it isn’t just about me. Case in point, this year for Christmas I wanted to come up with something neat that my eight-year old daughter and I could do together to let someone know they are loved. But, I was kind of stumped. I mean, there are so many people in need all over the world and in the city, I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t know what kind of things I could take an eight-year-old girl to as well (the local shelter suggested kids be at least thirteen before volunteering). I basically was on the verge of doing nothing because there was so much to do, and I was feeling all of this pressure to do something “extraordinary” and come up with it on my own. So, one day, my daughter and I were in the car headed in to the city when I say, “I‘ve been trying to think of something for you and me to do together this Christmas that would let someone else know how loved they are, but I can’t think of anything. Can you?” At first, she was silent. So, I asked her, “I mean, can you think of anyone who might need to be loved on this Christmas? You know, so they know...

Read More

The Gift of Compassion

When your kids hear “Jingle Bells” and see Santa, what’s their first thought? Getting? Or giving? We might be surprised at how fully our children and teens understand the real meaning of Christmas. While we’re sometimes perplexed by the commercialism and the “lost meaning,” kids often have an easier time connecting Christmas and all its ornamentation to the compassionate promise of Jesus. They approach it in a much more simple way: God loved the world so much that He gave us Jesus, and that’s what Christmas is all about. Santa gives. Mom and Dad give. Even the jingle bell ringer in front of the mall is receiving just so he or she can give to others. When we have compassion, we connect deeply enough with others to really feel what they’re going through. Because we feel what they feel, we’re moved to act in a way that can bring hope and practical relief to them. That can be a pretty big concept for young children, but even the youngest have experienced enough that they get it when we point out how a difficult situation makes life hard for someone in need. We need to remember to not get too obsessed with unique mens gift ideas and just live the holiday out like humans, nurturing each other. Compassion is “caring enough to do something about someone else’s need.” From the...

Read More