Yeah, nothing quite says Happy New Year like an intoxicated infant wearing a sash.
What did Santa bring you?
We had many blessing in the Butler household. My mother gave my wife and me a lovely digital camera. It seems fairly easy to use, so perhaps I can use it to take my own picture to down load on Hip and Thigh this year. My wife also surprised me with some black cowboy boots. I am thoroughly enjoying wearing those. After living in LA for some 14 years, I still have some southern hick in me.
This Christmas of 2005 is probably the first time my two older boys could really appreciate opening the gifts. They especially enjoyed tearing the paper (I guess all kids like that aspect of gift opening).
I did find it amazing that as much as we tried to center Christmas on the birth of Jesus, God's gift of salvation, and the cultivation of personal gratitude, we still had to strike down the sin of covetousness. Just one little yellow wooden train engine can drive two toddler age children to fist-to-cuffs. If they were adult sized, there would have been blood shed, rather than just tugging, pulling and the gnashing of teeth.
This was the first Christmas I had the opportunity to pass along to my boys one of my favorite childhood memories about Christmas: My father sitting up all night assembling toys by using indecipherable instructions. The assembly part is like a stroll up Mt. Everest with out the oxygen tank - one plodding step after another. The payoff the next morning, however, is sweet.
This Christmas I only had to put together two identical scooters. Thankfully, it was reasonably easy; and my brother was here to help me. What I thought was amusing, though, was the Parent's Responsibility clause on the back side of the instructions. There are 18 important things I must always keep in mind with these scooters and 5 of them are in bold print, so they must be extra important. Let me share a few.
- This scooter requires assembly by a qualified adult (Thank God I have a college degree)
- Do not allow the child to ride at night.
- Do not allow the scooter to be ridden on street or areas with auto traffic. (I was kind of hoping I could teach them to hitch a ride on the tail gate of a truck like Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future).
- Do not allow the rider to wear anything that obstructs hearing, visibility or function.
- Do not allow this scooter to be operated on streets, slopped driveways, alleys, hills, ditches, in ground pool, areas near steps or any other hazardous areas. (in other words, don't take it out of the house)
- Always wear safety equipment such as helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and shoes. (I wonder if they remember the rule up above about the obstruction of hearing, visibility and function?)
- Maximum weight limitations is 100 lbs. (Jimmy Bedwell, the grade school bully in my neighborhood, could not ride it)
On a more somber note, I did have to venture down into the heart of darkness called Beverly Hills and visit with my doctor about the operation on my neck. It is scheduled for January 26th. I truly appreciate the guy because of his brutal honesty. I believe the Lord has placed him in my life just for that aspect of his personality. As we were talking about the procedure, he asked me point blank, "If the tumor is around a facial nerve, do you want me to take the nerve or leave it?" My immediate response was to say leave it and let radiation therapy kill what is left. My prudent wife asked, "In your professional opinion, what would you suggest?" Without skipping a beat, the doctor replies, "In my professional opinion, I see a father with 3 young children, and I believe they would much rather have a daddy with a partially paralyzed face than a daddy dying from the recurrence of cancer in 5 years." Pastoring, preaching and teaching is my livelihood, and the Lord knows I do not want a paralyzed face, but He certainly used this doctor to put things into perspective. The Lord willing, the cutting of a nerve can be avoided, but if so, I reckon God has used ugly preachers in the past, in His sovereignty, He can use another one.