Notes from a dad in the '90s

For some time, it's been the practice in our house to bring the books to the breakfast table. Not the schoolbooks but the Holy Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. That way, everyone gets some spiritual nourishment along with the orange juice. We read from the Bible Lessons found in the Christian Science Quarterly. Of course, there are "risks." Certain pages are glued together by now-hardened jam. Milk stains have warped the printed text of the twenty-third Psalm. And frankly, I've often suspected the kids were more interested in Michael Jordan on the Wheaties box than in what we're reading. But you never know.

Today, for instance, the ten-year-old actually asked about God. He wanted to get a better grip on how listening to God works. My wife shared some ideas and said he could even listen for God's guidance when taking a test. The six-year-old, on the brink of first grade at this writing, wanted to know if this would be considered cheating. The eight-year-old was able to set him straight. It was OK, she knew, to pray any time at all. Even during a test.

I couldn't help wishing that more of family life was like this, with honest give-and-take of ideas. I couldn't help feeling that there ought to be more time for real questions and real answers—space for genuine communication between family members. Especially time for real communication between a dad and his kids.

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October 4, 1993

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