Tag Archives: family

Moods and Mortality

“Blue” wasn’t just part of my online persona’s name yesterday. Ole Deac really was suffering a case of the blues.

Coming face-to-face with mortality does that to you.

Nah, I haven’t gotten some horrible diagnosis and I don’t have a dying family member. Hell, I don’t even have a sick pet right now. So, perhaps my experience is just so personal to me that it will seem trite to you. Maybe it isn’t worth blogging about.

Shit. Like I’ve ever let a little something like that stop me before.

It started with Mrs. Blue being kind of down in the dumps herself, really taking a pessimistic (somewhat justifiable, but in other ways not) view of something we’re working on right now relationship-wise, as well as kind of beating up on herself about one of those kinds of things women in particular so often beat themselves up about. She was bummed, and that bummed me out, since I wasn’t able to really brighten her spirits.

Then the weather was kind of sucky. Plus I’m recovering from a cold. So I was already vulnerable when I got the e-mail from my dad. He had thanked me earlier for something I sent him, and I responded back to ask how things were and how the family was doing in Arizona (those would be my mom’s relatives; my dad retired out near them instead of in Minnesota where his family is—the man is simply not interested in doing the mosquitoes and winters ever again).

This is where I find out that a former renter of his owes him even more money than I thought he did. And that my dad’s having some eye problems. And that even though he’s pretty active, he’s been gaining a bit of weight lately. Then I find out one of my cousins has remarried and just had the kid with his new wife baptized, and I never even knew he had been divorced from his first wife.  And miscellaneous other news of which I was also unaware.

The net combo has been to, first of all, remind me that my dad is going to die someday.

I know, big surprise, right? As is the shocker that he’ll probably precede me in shucking of his mortal coil.

But you know, while he’s a fit guy, Dad’s had numerous minor issues. Cholesterol started sneaking up on him. Sciatica and arthritis are getting in on the act and have been for years, frankly. And so on. Is he knocking on death’s door? Hardly. Will he likely live another 15 or 20 years (or more) most likely? Probably.

Or maybe not. I just don’t know.

Mom died early in my now-nearly-14-year-old marriage. She suffered cancer, and I wasn’t there when she died (though I did travel out to California to be there for her major surgeries and part of her recovery). Doesn’t matter that I had marital obligations and we just didn’t know when she would die…I still wasn’t there. And arriving in California to see her body before it was taken away for cremation didn’t really make me feel like I’d been number-one son. She and I were tight when I was growing up.

Still, I never beat myself up about it, and that’s because we always stayed pretty well in touch. Dad’s not much of a talker; Mom was. And aside from that, I knew Dad was with her, and Xeena the warrior princess miniature Dachshund. I knew she wasn’t alone.

But ever since she’s passed on to the next phase of spiritual evolution, I’ve often worried about my dad. Sure, he has in-laws around him who adore him, so if he dies someone will notice. But how soon? Dad and I don’t talk much because that’s just not the way he is. If we lived in the same state, we’d likely get together often. But phone calls and e-mails? Not so much.

I worry that Dad will die alone because, well, of course he likely will. He lives alone. Even the dog recently gave up the ghost. So now I’m extra sensitive to his health woes, because as much as I hate the thought of losing my only remaining parent (even though it’s the normal course of things), I hate as much…perhaps more…that he may very well have no one there when he checks out. Sure, he may end up needing care some day and may be living with us (or vice-versa) and we might have plenty of advance notice, particular if cancer decides Mom wasn’t enough and decides to visit Dad, too. But I worry about a fall, or a stroke, or a heart attack.

Stupid, I know, to worry about any of the innumerable “what if’s” that might arise. But still, I do, and more so the older he gets.

So, yeah, mortality in my face…even if it isn’t my own.

Plus the fact I’ve kept in poor touch with my relatives with whom I was so close for so long. I still have the connection, and yes, I know they could do more to keep in touch with me, too. But still, these are blood of my blood, and I feel like I’ve been too long disconnected from them.

And who knows how long I’ll live. Or when my grandma or some of my aunts and uncles might get their visits from the Grim Reaper.

Mortality again.

So much to do in life. So many obligations and desires.

So little time in the grand scheme.

I don’t have the blues today. But it all still weighs heavy on my mind.

Open Memo to a Random Ass-hat

Temporarily marring what had up until that point been a pretty awesome day tooling around and visiting the beach and such with the family, we are on a small and crowded pier. I have just bought a messy fried concoction from one of the many stands crowded on the narrow pier, and head for one of the few tables nearby.

These tables can sit four adults comfortably.

A man is standing at the end of one such table.

Herein ends the setup for my rant/open memo…

Dear Jerk,

When you are standing at the very end of a table, talking on your cell phone, with your drink at the very edge of the table, and I sit down on one of the bench seats with my 5-year-old girl, at the other end from where you are, giving you plenty of space, I do not want to hear the snippy words, “I was sitting here” as you walk off in a huff with your phone, your drink, and whatever conversation you were having.

Seating is at a premium.

I had messy food and a little girl.

But most importantly, and for the record, if you are standing, and using the edge of a table as your drink-rest, and you are there simply to talk on a phone and not to relax or eat something, I have news for you:

You were not sitting there.

That is all.

Don’t ruin my vibe again.

Taking Care

I’m in the position of having to take on a lot more of the household duties, as well as take care of my wife, as she recovers from her surgery.

It’s a small but notable reminder to me of the awesome responsibility we take on when we choose to form families.

Even when we don’t have kids in our relationships, committing to another human for life (theoretically, at least…Lord knows plenty of people don’t take that as seriously as they should when they trade vows), that commitment extends to caring for that person.

It could be a month after the wedding that one of you gets hit by a bus and you or your beloved might have to be changing the undergarments for a quadriplegic spouse. Or if you live to a ripe old age, one of you might be hale and hearty while the other one suffers chronic illnesses and needs to be taken care of.

Bring in children and it only gets more complicated. In lean times, it’s one thing not to have health insurance for myself, to not visit the dentist, or to eat ramen noodles and rice-and-beans for a week or two. But I can’t do that to my child.

Love is a sweet little word, but I wonder how many of us really consider the responsibilities that go with love. It isn’t just about affection and sex. It’s not just about a theoretically lifetime companion. It isn’t just about making “little versions of us.” It’s about work. Much of that work is just keeping the relationships healthy and always evolving in a mature fashion.

But sometimes it means taking care of that other person, and not asking or expecting praise for it. Not complaining about it. Not feeling put-upon. In fact, it means feeling a sense of pride and compassion and satisfaction at being there and making that person’s life better.

How many of us, though, really do that? How many of us are willing to care for our loved ones as well as we care for ourselves. Or, more appropriately, better?

A Kiss Before Bedtime

A wonky wireless home networking system kept me from doing any kind of post last night, and the in-and-out connection has been playing havoc with me today, too.

I will probably post another installment of the Cleansed By Fire novel sometime today, if the gods of the Internet are kind to me, but here’s a quickie post to make up for having posted nothing yesterday and to give you something if you aren’t a sci-fi fan.

Mrs. Blue doesn’t like it when I ascribe semi-diabolic  motives to Little Girl Blue’s actions. She’s agreeing me with more often than she used to now when I point out such things, but I remember in the past year or so many, many times when I would suggest our little girl was playing us a bit, and I would get the stank eye in return from the wife.

Now, don’t get me wrong. My 3-year-old is not some devil child. She is challenging at times, but she’s also loving. And she’s whip-smart. To a certain degree, I like seeing that she has enough intellectual power to find subtle and tricky ways to get what she wants. I have to stay one step ahead of her, and that sometimes wears out my own brain, but I’d rather have that than a child who goes into brain-shutdown/drool mode in front of the TV on a regular basis.

The latest trick in her book is asking for a kiss at bedtime.

No, no, you don’t understand.

It’s not the kiss goodnight that’s a problem. I’m more than happy to give out one or even several kisses and hugs as I lay her down in bed.

It’s when she gets up, 5 minutes later and I ask, “Why are you up?” and she says she wants to give me a kiss. And I do. And I tell her she must go to bed and stop getting up. Five minutes later, she needs to give me another kiss, or a hug. And so on.

Now, she will from time to time say she needs a damp cloth to wipe her eyes, or another drink of water, but by and large, she will whip out the extra affection as an excuse to get up more often than not these days.

And this poses a real challenge for me as a loving father.

I know she’s stalling and trying to put off going to bed. And she probably enjoys yanking me out of my office every 5 minutes too, since it’s right next to her bedroom and it’s not like we can let daddy do his thing. 😉 But the real quandary for me is this:

I don’t feel right saying, “No, you can’t have a kiss.” Nor do I feel good scolding her about delaying her sleep after I give her one, even though I sometimes have to.

And she’s smart enough to know this, which is why she added this trick to her arsenal. She found an excuse that at least partially defuses my ability to get cross with her. Oh, sure, I eventually do reach a point at which I may have to threaten to deep-six one of her Dora DVDs or something, but for the most part, she gets to delay her bedtime (which is already way late by most family standards) and give me very little room to operate in a disciplinarian mode.

Like, I said, this girl is smart.

It’s that kind of skill that might serve her very well in life as she figures out how to navigate the hell that is other people (other annoying people at least…I’m not such a misanthrope that I think all people are trouble). But it’s going to give me some headaches, and many gray hairs, until she begins harnessing those skills for good instead of selfish reasons.

Big Love From a Small Person

Look, I’ve been out of town much of the day on the highway shuttling Son of Blue to an out-of-state friend’s house, so I’m not sure if I’ll get around to making a substantial post on any pressing topics tonight or not.

But in the interest of being a proud papa and in giving you something to read, let me just say that of all the wonderful things I’ve experienced as Little Girl Blue has grown these past three years, the past week has brought one of the most beautiful.

She’s giving us hugs—big ones—and she’s planting real kisses on our cheeks and noses and necks along with those hugs. And it’s not just in response to us giving her affection but completely out of nowhere sometimes now.

She’s discovered sweetness and love and empathy for real. And it makes all the stressful things about raising a little child—all the tantrums and defiance and nonsensical decisions—just melt away.

I’m in some serious parental love right now, and I don’t care who knows it. Go ahead, revoke my “Manly Man” card.

Carrying the Load

Today, I need to get something off my chest, but it’s not a rant like my July 14 “Stealing Time” post. I find myself thinking about stress a lot, and how it dovetails with faith (or sometimes lack thereof). And I’m thinking about it a lot in terms of my marriage.

I’m pretty laid back most of the time. I do get stressed over things, but it rarely lasts long. I sleep fine at night, I don’t have high blood pressure, I don’t get anxiety attacks. Mostly, I trust in God to deliver me from crap. And I daresay that Mrs. Blue and I have more crap to deal with than 90% of the people in our socioecomic cohort. For the most part, even when I feel a vague sense of unease, I mostly feel OK about life in general. Now, conflicts with people I love and who are close to me, those can mess me up, but most stressors in life just don’t knock my ass to the ground. I don’t think of myself as particularly strong in and of myself; I credit God for giving me much of the resources that I have to weather the storms.

And yet.

Mrs. Blue also has normal blood pressure and she maintains a pretty chipper face to people outside our family even when the stresses are high in our life. But she does get anxious and bummed and this translates into aches and pains and lack of sleep and sometimes just really, really bad moods. I realize there is nothing necessarily odd about this, nor is it bad per se that my wife and I operate differently in how we respond to stress. With me, it seems to roll off more; with her, it seems to stick more, and often build higher and higher with little relief.

My wife is no less faithful than I am. One could argue she is more so, I suspect. She prays more and she is in the Bible more often than I am. Yet she ends up with the greater stress.

And I wonder, is it my fault? My wife has always been the more organized of the two of us. I joke that she is the CEO and CFO of this family to my president and chairman of the board. She had always had more aptitude with figures and planning and dealing with people that we have to deal with. I’ve always been better doing my work, which at the moment still earns most of the money in this household, in supporting her in her work by being her sounding board and proofreader, and in accommodating our little girl’s most outrageous physical and emotional demands so that mommy won’t have child clinging to her every moment of the day.

And yet.

Have I dropped the ball? In thinking that my wife and I simply deal with stress differently and in thinking that we have an equitable split of the household duties, have I intepreted things wrong?

We are comparable in our faith in God and in our willingness to turn things over to God and ask for strength and help in times of trouble. Yet I seem to be the one who is least stressed.

Have I, through lack of action or lack of awareness, saddled Mrs. Blue with too much of the administrative work in this family? Is she so laden with having to look at the problems that we face that she can never look away from them? Does she lack for sleep and peace of mind because she just cannot let go of the stress and because there are just too many stressors that hit home for her…or is it because I’m not picking up some kind of slack?

I don’t know the answer. Once Mrs. Blue reads this, I don’t know that she’ll know either. I’m sure we’ll talk about it. Maybe we’ll even find answers. Maybe I’ll discover there is something I can do better.

We husbands and wives are supposed to be helpmates to one another. I think that too often, it’s easy to get caught up in ourselves and not be there as much as we should for the other person. That’s not the way it should be. Those of us who are married and who, I presume, still love our spouses…we need to do better to be there for them. Even when we think we’re doing enough, I suspect that most of us on both sides of the marriage still aren’t doing enough.

And if we don’t challenge ourselves and accept that fact that, “I might be the problem” instead of saying “I think you’re the problem” we are going to be very poor helpmates indeed.

Stealing Time

We don’t spend much time on this Earth. I know that it may seem like an interminable period of misery and pain for some people, a few of whom are singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” right now and hoping God would just put them out of their misery and bring them home now, but in the grand scheme, it doesn’t mean much to God. He’s got eternity on the other side.

Our lives here are a speck and He knows it and we should too. But, the fact is, time does mean a lot to us here on Earth.

For those who don’t believe there is an afterlife, for those who aren’t sure, for those who don’t really know if it’s better, well, they have a lot of concern about how their time on Earth is spent.

Even for those of us with either a pretty firm or rock-solid faith that there is a hereafter and that it’s going to be way better (assuming you pick the winning side of the spiritual war…nudge, nudge), time is still important. We may know that we have something better waiting, but that doesn’t mean we want to spend our days in physical or emotional pain, wasting our time, or anything else. We have families and friends who want our time, we want our personal time, and so on.

Yet in this world, there are plenty of people who not only want to waste our time but who insist on doing so, actually do it pretty effectively—and in many cases claim it is their inalienable right to use our time as they wish.

They are thieves.

They are stealing precious time from us and in many cases, this shit needs to stop.

Now, as you can tell, even though I’ve sprinkled some religious talk in here already, this post is going to be a rant. I’m not going to tell you exactly what sparked this rant. Suffice to say that people who are in the know in my life and who read this blog will probably figure out what set me off. If you want something strictly and completely spiritual, scroll down the main page of this blog to see if you missed anything this week, or just check out the post immediately below this one (Cycle of Trees), which offers a heartfelt spiritual message laden with meaning and wisdom—I hope.

So, back to time-stealing dingleberries in our lives.

Time thieves abound in life. Here are a few examples, some of which may be drawn from my life and one of which might even hint at what set me off today.

  • You are an employer or a supervisor and you believe that because the people under you are paid salaries, you are entitled to their time whenever you feel you need it. You don’t pay them hourly, you aren’t required to give them overtime, and you might not even give them comp time for when you keep them late or have them work weekends. Yet you think you own them. You think you can dictate to them whether or not their family time is important enough that they should be able to partake of it. You cancel vacation days and time off and weekends because your higher-up is saying that there is work that trumps everything else. If you are one of these people, you should be ashamed, and doubly so if you are in the United States. Americans work more hours than most folks in the developed world and use less vacation and sick time. We’re killing ourselves slowly and making a misery of our lives for our companies, and we can’t even get decent health insurance from them anymore. Sickening.
  • You are a person who is single, and who gets snarly when a married co-worker with kids (or an unmarried one with kids, for that matter) comes in a little early to leave a bit early for a soccer game or something. You get mad if your supervisor gives them more opportunities to try to make up time or shift around hours because they have daycare hours to contend with or activities to attend or just want to see their kids and give them some love. If you are getting mad and thinking this person is getting a special deal or a free ride, get over your damn self. When you are married, you will see how much damn work it is to keep a relationship like that healthy. When you have kids, you will find out how hard it is to juggle family and work time. When you are no longer single and/or child-free, you will know how glorious family time is and how important it is, and if you have a shred of decency, you will feel bad for talking shit about your family-minded co-workers once you have a personal taste of what they had to give up to work 90% of the workday and you will find yourself wondering why you have to beg to leave a few minutes early to see your kid’s play or celebrate your spouse’s birthday. Do us all a favor and stop bitching now so you won’t have to feel guilty later. And don’t do what some of your fellow single folks might do and backstab and undermine those married and child-rearing co-workers because you feel like they’re your enemies for wanting family time.
  • You are the custodial parent of a child (or children), and your ex gets little enough time with the kid(s) already, even though he or she really wants to spend time with them. You do your best to steal away weekends and cut short summers. You suddenly announce events without any warning, knowing this will inconvenience both your ex and your children and destroy their plans, all because of things like selfishness, desire to hurt the other person, or whatever. Even if you still can’t see fit to treat your ex with decency, please do yourself and the children a favor and stop being so petty. You have most of the year with the child or children already. Cherish what you have instead of stealing what’s not yours.
  • You are a lazy worker. You come in all sloppy to work and leave your co-workers to pick up your slack. You use trickery, lies, subterfuge and whatever else to make it look like you’re doing more than you are but you aren’t carrying the load that you could be. You don’t have a good reason for it; you just don’t care. It’s not that you don’t want to be worked to death but rather that you want to get your pay and do as little as possible while getting whatever you can for yourself, in terms of long lunches, time off, office supplies, etc. You are stealing your company’s time and probably other resources. You are stealing your co-workers’ time by making them do your work. You are a piece of crap and need to grow up and get some responsibility, or move into your parents’ basement and play video games all day.
  • You are at the only drive-through ATM and doing all your freakin’ banking that you should have done during banking hours, while people pile up behind you and are now running late because you want to check your balance—twice, make a deposit (filling out the forms while at the ATM instead of having done them at home), check the balance of another account, withdraw money (and then count it out as slowly as possible), transfer some funds, and then check your balance again. Bonus points for asshole-ishness if the bank is actually still open and you just decided that you didn’t want to get out of your car, you lazy bastard.
  • You are in the 10-items or less line at the store and have at least twice that number of items, possibly three times the amount or more. You decide to also quibble with the checker about prices and then have the gall to pay by check, writing out that sonuvabitch so slowly that we would all swear you have a neurological problem. But it turns out you’re just a time-wasting jerk who doesn’t want us to get home to our families.

OK, I feel better now having got that out of my system. To the person, organization, or other entity who sparked this rant, I forgive you, but please don’t let this crap happen again. I ain’t Jesus, and I have a lot of other pressures in life right now. And I feel like I am running out of cheeks to turn for folks.

The Great Divider by Miz Pink


Little miss me was supposed to post something on Saturday. That’s supposed to be my regular day around here now (in addition to the twofer Tuesday thang) I could go blaming my girlfriend who is about to go through a divorce and wanted to hang out last night, but truth is I still had time to post something. But it probably woulda been crapiolio because I was fresh outta ideas. But church today gave me a nice gospel passage to talk about, so it’s all to the good now.

And what am I gonna talk about? Gospel o’ Matthew chapter 10, verses 24-39. I know, I know, a decent chunk of reading for the average American but you’re reading a blog so how average can ya be? You must like reading. But if you’re really pressed for time you can focus on verses 34 through 39 becasue that’s the controversial part…the part the really rankles some people. Including the woman who read that passage before today’s sermon at church. And the pastor apparently almost lost a close friendship a few years back talking about this passage. Here’s that thorny part by the way:

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 “For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36 and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. 37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

As the liturgist today was fretting about verbally as she prepared to read the entire passage (which is about the meaning of discipleship), she even said, “I like to think that Matthew didn’t really understand what Jesus meant to say.”

And to that, I ask “why the heck not?”

I know it sounds harsh of Jesus to put it that way, but what’s wrong with putting the son of God, the savior of the world…and by extension his big daddy upstairs…ahead of your family? Are the creator of the universe and the guy who is responsible for making it possible for you to avoid eternal damnation some punks you should disregard? Isn’t their eternal cause…and the mission of evangelism and discipleship they put before us more important than any of our worldly concerns?

I’m not saying we should disregard our families and I’m not saying everyone should go out and spread the gospel while leaving their loved ones in the dust. But when you get down to it, that’s not what Jesus was talking about really.

Remember, he was preaching to guys and gals who were Jewish! Waaaay back in the day! To follow him and accept that he was the messiah when most people thought he was a fraud and a troublemaker (especially the saduccees and pharisees) was to put yourself at direct odds with your families. Most people had to basically reject what their families were telling them to follow Jesus. So, back then (and even for some time after Jesus rose from the dead, since the vast bulk of Isreal was still Jewish and not followers of Jesus and most of the Gentiles worshipped multiple other gods and goddesses) Christianity was a huge divider of families. But to embrace your family’s desires would have been to reject Jesus and thus salvation and redemption. Jesus was telling them it was a hard choice but a needed one. People had to choose sides and that meant pissing off family and friends and employers and even the leaders of society.

Today, the average Christian in the first world at least doesn’t really have to deal with that. Let’s face it. If you’re born into a Christian family in America or Europe or someplace else where Christians aren’t persecuted, your family isn’t likely to be divided much by your beliefs in Jesus. Though it is still possible. Maybe you have liberal Christian parents who think the entire Bible is just symbolic. Well then if you take a more fundie view, you might have to choose Christ over your kin. Doesn’t mean you have to reject your family but it does mean you have to be willing to incur their anger maybe to do the right thing. And if your family is Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu or whatever else and you take up believing in Christ, well you can best be sure you’ll probably ruffle some feathers and maybe be unwelcome at family gatherings.

And how about not being in a Christian tolerant country  at all? Think of the missionary folks who go out to the Middle East or China or wherever to preach the gospel. They find people who hear and take the gospel to heart. Sometimes they get imprisoned and tortured and even killed for doing it. And the people they preach to may risk the same. Imagine choosing Jesus and not only having to face the wrath of your parents but also the wrath of you own country and police.

But Jesus is that importnat. Salvation is that valuable. Hearing and sharing the gospel is that important.

Jesus came in love…filled up with it…and he came as representative to us of God’s love for us. But he also was willing to tell us things that would make us queasy and shake us up, because choosing faith in Jesus and his Father and accepting the holy spirit aren’t easy things. They come at a price. But the reward is so much greater than the price.

Christianity is meant to bring humans back into grace with God. It aint meant to bring people together on Earth. It can. And ideally it should. But sometimes, it is impossible to do both. We shouldn’t hear Jesus’s words that he comes to divide as being counter to his mission. It’s a recognition that what he offers isn’t always an easy pill to swallow. But few things of true value in this world ever come easy. So why should something that is of the next world be any easier?

Big love gone mad

Thanks to the magic of Netflix, my wife recently got hooked on the cable TV series “Big Love,” and I have to admit that it has been (thus far) a very entertaining show. But with the polygamy and large families and cultish compounds and all that in the show…and the recent news about that Texas LDS compound that got raided…the subject matter of Big Love seems a bit creepier now. And, add to that the Duggar family, whom I somehow have managed to miss in the media all this time, despite them having a reality TV show and making the news/talk circuit and the wife dutifully popping out a kid a year, with 17 out so far and number 18 on the way.

There’s not much more I can say that hasn’t already been said better by Chez at Deus Ex Malcontent in his post Family Units, along with many of the commenters on that thread who had some pithy, snarky and sometimes spot-on things to say about the Duggars. I chimed in myself, with what was probably among the least entertaining responses there. Check it out. Be amazed, be frightened…but hopefully you won’t be rooting for them. I try not to judge, but it seems to me the Duggars lost perspective somewhere along the line, much like a woman who has been trying to lose weight for so long and keep it off that she still thinks she’s fat when she’s a 90-pound walking skeleton. My fear is that when families like this are lifted up in the media and given so much positive attention at a time when our resources are being stretched to the limit globally, and all under the guise of living biblically…well, let’s just say we don’t need too many folks following in their footsteps. (For more on the “Quiverfull” teachings that the Duggars are following, as well as the crticisms of it, click here. I believe myself that children are a blessing, but I also believe that God dislikes excess, particularly when it flies in the face of good stewardship of the planet.)

I’m glad me and Mrs. Blue…and Miz Pink and her husband, Sir Pink…have a little more restraint. At least in actually producing babies. I’m all for going through the motions of making them while stopping the swimmers before they can enter the tunnel of love. And most couples, no matter how faithful to God, have some sense of perspective, instead of actively trying to have baby after baby just to prove something to God.

We married folks should be making love, but we should know when to stop making babies.