I have a theory about parenting. I call it the TAP Theory of Parenting and it goes something like this:
Time parenting x Age of child = Likelihood of prayer
My wife has the same theory about me, except that she changes the equation to Time x Age of husband = Likelihood of prayer. She might be onto something.
The equation is quite simple. Length of time parenting (The older you get) x Age of child (The older they get) = Likelihood of prayer (This includes all forms of prayer: crying, writing, screaming at heaven, pleading, weeping and gnashing of teeth). The more children you have, the effect size is doubled. This is not a pretty article, I warn you right now.
Parents of the world, we need to unite. Did you know that today there are more teenagers that exist in the world than the number of parents who were alive at the beginning of World War 1? That has to mean something. This is not parenting, it is war.
I have one teenager and another who cannot wait until she also is a teenager. Two? What were we thinking? It hit me the other day, I am Darth Vader. I breathe deeply, I use the Vader magic hand and I put all of my power into it when I say, “I am your father!” But they don’t seem to listen. I need to have my kids watch Star Wars again. Don’t they know that Vader is a force to be reckoned with? Matter of fact, I need to watch it so I can figure out how he did it.
The longer I am a parent, the more Vader wants to come out of me. Only, this Vader is more spiritual than the first one. Spiritual Vader makes me pray every time I find an unflushed toilet, an uneaten warm-juicy lunch left overnight in the lunch kits, and piles of kid-junk dumped around the house. Vader takes force when piano practice looks more like Bench Yoga (trust me, I have seen it… somehow they keep their hands attached to the piano while doing the moves!!!), and any form of homework. Who ever came up with the term “homework?” They are stupid and wrong. It’s not homework, it’s homeHELLNOwork.
I become Vader after supper, when the homework comes out. I begin to breathe heavy. I pause and the force hits me. Then I become existential and I pray, “God? What is going on here?” Can’t you feel the force flowing through you too? Then I become a little unbalanced because my prayer becomes talking to myself, “Am I crazy? I must be losing my mind!” I guess this must be the dark side of the force. Next my prayer becomes serious and I make bargains, “Ok God, you can take them back.” I am not very good at this prayer thing.
The TAP theory of parenting. Maybe this theory is a good one? Think about your parents. How often did you hear them saying, “God” and “Jesus” when they were around you? Guess they were becoming more spiritual the older they get? Or maybe a little more like Vader? How about you… Is parenting making you more spiritual or more like Vader? Why not join me and become a Spiritual Vader? Twice the fun and half the calories.
Keep it real.