Dear Kids: Why we hope you turn out weird

Dear Kids,

Parenting is the hardest thing your dad and I have ever been faced with. Its fun to imagine having kids, but it’s a whole other thing to actually have them and feel the responsibility. We do not take this job lightly. We’ve weighed every decision since the moment you were born:  Do we let them cut the cord immediately, or wait until it stops pulsing?  Do we let them sleep in our beds or cry it out in their own rooms? Do we vaccinate or not? Daily we are faced to make decisions on your behalf and moment by moment we second guess ourselves.

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But some decisions come easily.

Some things will just not happen in the Clark house. There are some TV shows (intended for young viewers) that are not acceptable to watch, even if your friends watch them. The world is ok with violent video games- they will never be allowed in our house. (You’re lucky if any video games are allowed…read a book.) PG-13 does not mean you can watch the movie when you turn 13. It means mom and dad will screen it first and get back to you. We love dancing and singing in this house, but some songs I better never hear on your ipod. Some clothing may not be acceptable to wear. Turning 16 and passing the test does not mean you are allowed to drive on the roads. Hopefully passing the “Clark Driving Test” coincides with this birthday. Emailing, texting, facebooking, and whatever-else-ing is cool to do when your older DOES NOT count as interaction. You must have physical friends and actually interact for it to be considered a healthy relationship. We were designed for community. Real and Authentic. Not virtual.  Can you spend the night at a friend’s house when members of the opposite sex will be there as well? No. Oh, but so-and-so’s mom will be chaperoning? Still no. Will I buy you alcohol before you turn 21? Are you kidding me?

Here’s the deal. We love you like crazy and we want you to live the best life that you can, and we believe that that means going against the gravitational pull of today’s culture. We want you to be made up of different stuff than “most kids”. (Here’s a parenting secret: We want to give you everything, but we won’t, because we know better. ) We have no problem telling you “No.” You will hear it eventually and we’d rather it be from us now rather than from a cop later. So go ahead and whine and complain that “everybody else can”. You cannot. We filter our decisions through our beliefs and not through the general acceptance of society.

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“But as for me (we) and my (our) family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NLT

Will some of your friends think you are weird because you aren’t allowed to do some of the things they are allowed to do? Yes. (We hope they aren’t friends for long) Will you be made fun of because you can’t go watch a certain movie or play a certain computer game? Maybe. Are you going to automatically be weird because we’ve decided (for now anyway) to homeschool? Well, if Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Venus & Serena Williams, Michelle Kwan, Dave Thomas, C. S. Lewis, Mozart & Einstein are/were weird, then fine. It’s a label I’m willing to live with. Oh- and don’t you judge anyone else for what their parents have decided is best for them either. We are all parenting to the best of our abilities, knowledge, and convictions.

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The dictionary defines the word weird as “involving the supernatural; unearthly or uncanny”. Exactly. We are called to be in the world but not of it. So if the world is headed in one direction, we will do our best to point you in the opposite one. We want you to be so full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22,23), that you stand out in a dark world. So here we go, doing our best at this most important job- parenting. Will we get it all right? Nope. No parent ever has. But we will love you extravagantly, give you everything that you want need, and hope you turn out weird.

love, love, love,

Mom & Dad

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