There are a lot of incomplete answers to the the question, “What is really wrong with sex outside of marriage?’ and all of them came to mind last night when Emiko asked me that question last night. We were studying Luther’s Small Catechism and I asked if she had any questions about any of the Ten Commandments. Surprisingly, I was only mildly panicked as to how I was going to answer her. I knew the answers I had from when I was young (It’s just wrong) wouldn’t fly or even if it got me out of the immediate situation, it wouldn’t prepare her to answer the question when she was faced with the situation in real life.
We had just talked about how the first 3 Commandments are about loving God and the last 7 are about loving your neighbor (the two tables of the Law). So not lying about other people, not hurting other people, and not stealing are how we love people. She then could draw the line that not committing adultery was also loving people.
But how is waiting till marriage loving? We talked about the emotional hurt having sex outside a life-long commitment can be. We talked about the consequence of a pregnancy and how not having a family to raise a child in is not loving. I don’t think we’ve exhausted this topic, but I think we have a good foundation and framework for keeping this discussion alive between us and as the father of a new teenager, I think that’s what I’m most happy about.
My daughter, Emiko, played in her first golf tournament on Wednesday. And while it would be a great story to be able to say she came in first, the truth is she came in last (and by quite a bit). Her score and where she finished in the standings takes nothing away from how proud and amazed I am with how she handled herself. It made me smile when she asked when she could play in another tournament.
After looking back on the day, I thought this post would be about what she learned from playing her first tournament, but it turns out this is about what she taught me.
- Coming in last does not ruin your self-esteem – Doing her best and working to get better have given her more confidence than any “everybody gets a trophy” sport she’s ever played in.
- This is life, not Facebook – Facebook is an amalgamation of special moments not a true picture of life. I don’t know how many Facebook moments I’ll have with her, but I’m happy we have life together.
- Learning is the lesson – Any situation can be positive if you learn something from it. She didn’t enjoy losing, but I saw her focusing on the things she needed to improve and that’s what made it such a great experience for her.
We Lutherans talk about how God uses our vocations to place us where we can serve our neighbor. In this case, I see how He has blessed me by placing me where I not only serve my daughter, but also learn from her. Oh yeah, it’s also a blessing that her mother “rides” me to take Emiko golfing.
Emiko and I finished the basic project book that came with the Arduino. The problem was that she was good at following the diagrams but had no idea what was really happening and wouldn’t be able to do anything other than follow them. So I found Exploring Arduino which goes through similar projects but explains in detail the circuits and programs. The explanation of voltages, currents, resistance, etc. went ok, but then we got to the programming. She had a very difficult time putting into practice the concept of a variable. I tried every way I could to explain it, but she didn’t and each with each attempt my voice got louder and louder. She teared up and was clearly frustrated and while we got through the exercise it wasn’t the best session we had ever had.
The next morning I kept replaying the events and what I remember most was that I had turned something that she thought was interesting and fun into the exact opposite. I really didn’t want her to lose interest in something because I had turned her off. I texted Erin to have Emiko call me when she was awake. When she called I apologized and she forgave me. I told her how sorry I was and that I didn’t want my being a bad teacher to prevent her from having fun and learning.
Since then I’ve asked her what I can do to be a better teacher. We’ve also done more projects and learned some difficult circuit and programming concepts. I’m going a lot slower and I’m not so focused on her understanding everything. She’ll gain that as she gets more exposure and if we can keep having fun she’ll keep wanting that exposure.
Me: What do you want to do tonight?
Emiko: Oh, let’s work on the robot! (That’s what she calls the Arduino since we are working toward a robot)
So we worked on a temperature sensor. It wasn’t super accurate, but she made it the readings go up and down by blowing on it. She also learned about Fahrenheit and Centigrade.
Me: Ok, 10 minutes till bed. What do you want to do? (Fully expecting her to ask for 10 minutes of TV)
Emiko: Let’s do the servo circuit!
That was shocking. So happy she is interested. Fun times ahead!
I’m far from the perfect father. I’m sure I violate conventional and new wisdom all the time. I’m not sure I agree with all that “wisdom” so I try to be aware of it, but it doesn’t usually doesn’t affect my day-to-day. However, there are some areas in which I know I need to improve. The number 1 is yelling / raising my voice. I have done this since I was a little kid. When situations frustrate me I raise my voice and after a certain level of frustration it turns to yelling.
I think I’ve made some strides in this area since Mari was diagnosed with Autism. It made me realize how it didn’t really help any situation, but it is such a long engrained habit that it is tough to break. One strategy that has helped me is to hug whichever girl I’m frustrated with before talking to her. I learned this strategy as a way to reset Mari when she was having sensory difficulties and it also works with Emiko, likely because it calms me down as much as anything.
Mari is a couple years from lessons but she learns by watching big sister.
This is the second time Emiko has swung her new clubs. First time at the range. She struggled a little with the length and weight, but should be fine by the beginning of summer. She still hit some good ones.
She was trying out the new putter as well. She was lining up each putt without me even reminding her.
Mari was just having fun and enjoying the sun.
Emiko and I worked on goals for this week. We went through her goals for the year and she picked out 3 to focus on this week. I then had her three measurable results to accomplish.
Flossing this morning turned into an opportunity to look at plaque under the microscope.
We also looked at some grey hair that did not belong to dad.
We finished her first project which was a blinking LED. I told her how to wire up the breadboard and she did that.
Then she uploaded the code to the Arduino. I explained a little bit about what was going on and let her experiment with changing values in the code to see how the blinking of the LED would be altered. Once we figured out what values did what, we commented the code.
When I got home from work we broke out the Christmas presents. Mari looked at some of the prepared slides under the microscope and I showed I her how to place them for viewing. Our plan is to look at some new things under the microscope every day.
Emiko and I broke out the Arduino. We read some basics about circuits and familiarized ourselves with all the boards and components. I downloaded the software and tomorrow we will do our first project.