Sunday, July 5, 2009


A crunchy fur of grass softens our recline in the cool evening air, my lap and chest covered in boy, huddling close for warmth. Just as the lights dimmed, the first fountain of color erupts from the mountaintops, far in the distance. Brilliant red flowers bloom amid a silver shower of sparkles. Blues, Greens, Yellows dashed upon the canvas of the sky, quickly erased, replaced by another, reflecting in our irises.

Most striking is the sheer lack of noise, created by the distance across the valley. No boom, no sizzle, we are left like a silent film, to fill in the gaps in between. Writing our own dialogue, under a sky of vanishing rainbows.

This morning, when asked where his aunt was, Logan replied Writing a note to her boyfriend...

Inconceivable as my brother was just in the next room, yet someone at the picnic yesterday had been talking about the difference between their wife and their girlfriend. Through the lens of recent marital troubles of other aunts and uncles, Logan created his own dialogue to help him understand...all married couples must have boyfriends and girlfriends.

Sad the reality of families these days, it's no wonder our young ones are so confused about intimacy and marriage. Little eyes watch the fireworks, then create the stories that help them make sense of all the messages. When we allow society to teach our children, we should not be surprised when they end up mirroring their values. It also should not surprise us when their relationships end up just like ours.

Silence is not an option in raising your children.

Every so often we take Logan out for "coffee", to talk about the important things, to give him space to ask questions. [And he enjoys the hot chocolate.] Our way of intentionally engaging him with the tough questions. We have to do the same in our marriage to keep it healthy.

How do you break the



otin said...

I don't have children, so I really never encounter those situations.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

We've done the same thing with C during his entire life. We don't go out for coffee, but we often use the time after Sunday breakfast, which is relaxed family time. We also have dinner together just about every night.

C has seen us go through difficulties in our marriage, but never the type described here, and he's always known we love each other even when we disagree. I am a strong believer in communication.

C is now 16 and he's a young man whom I'd be proud to know in other settings. The credit goes to him, however - he's just always been clear in his moral compass.

Probably a longer answer than you were looking for. And oh, I remember those days of snuggled boy warmth watching fireworks. ;-)

Daniel said...

I break the silence by talking to myself as there is nobody else around sometimes (sniff). Actually my little one and I just had a heart to heart the other night. I had some things I wanted to say so that our relationship growths in depth, not just in years. At the end I was crying uncontrollably and my little one just hugged me and said she loved me and she understood. Not sure if she did, but I need to work very hard to break down walls that get built up (i.e. that I build up) to save awkwardness or other difficult feelings.

Daniel said...

One other thing. Your post reminds me of a joke. A scientist is asked whether it is better to have a wife or mistress. He says both. That way you can tell the wife your spending the evening with the mistress, and tell the mistress that your spending the evening with the wife. Then you can go into the lab and get some work done.

Wings said...

Great post Brian!

We are always honest with our kids about everything, and anything is always open for discussion. They don't always like it, but they know where we stand and where they stand. And they are bright and happy and so kind I sometimes worry I have made them too unprepared for the harshness the world has in store for them.

Valerie said...

You break the silence by talking. A combination of family communication and love is the best weapon. Seems to me you don't have any worries.

Lorraine said...

I found that throughout my son's childhood that every upset or curiousity showed in the way he held his body or by the look in his eyes. I only had to say 'What's wrong?' or 'What's on your mind' to get the dialogue my thinking is to break the silence is to realize there is a silence to break, you have to look at your children, the way you do, bravo for that Brian!

tony said...

Fireworks That Whisper Are Often The Most Powerful [Old Polish Proverb I Just Made Up!]

J A Harnett-Hargrove said...

Hi Brian, Thanks for the confirmations. I have a son and daughter, and will come up to every gender toil and trouble sooner or later.... I have joined your follow list (trying to make it an even 100) so I wont miss your posts. -Jayne

Travel & Dive Girl said...

My son will be 17 next week and I'm happy to report that we have a very open and honest relationship. From a young age, he was always encouraged to ask us or tell us anything and we have always answered it honestly and without censorship or backlash. We are now at a stage that this open interaction has become a valuable tool to both of us. Keep up the good work with your sons - it's worth it.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Never seems to be any silence in our house! Amy's volume makes up for any quiet moments. You are right about young children being confused. Adulthood can bring many stray thoughts of which a young child will only think it the norm.

CJ xx

imbeingheldhostage said...

Great post and something great to ponder. I try to do the things my kids ask-- you know like when they ask you to kick a ball or swim with them even when you have a million things that need doing. They tend to open up during those times.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Brian:)

It is needless to say that parents have a great responsibility to bring up their children. It is always good to talk to them and clarify their doubts instead of letting them find out answers on their own. The main problem with modern parents is that they have no time for their children or even for themselves. Hence many questions lie unanswered and children are left to themselves to experiment.

They talk to their friends and watch TV. They absorb many harmful information. When they grow up they are in a totally different world. What we consider as wrong today becomes a right for them and they do not hesitate to experiment.

I always felt there is a generation gap between me and my children. They are all grown up. If you ask whether I have done my duty my answer would be TO SOME EXTENT because I was not all the time at home and was busy earning a livelyhood for the family.

The photo is wonderful.

My best wishes to you in bringing up your child.

Brian Miller said...

@otin - have a great Monday!

@jen - i had to rewrite this one multiple times. i really wanted to punch the person in the throat for ttying to get a laugh out of the kids this way. it took a bit for grace to find me. family time is important. keep it up. it will pay dividends in the future. sonds like it already is with C.

@daniel - wow. you have a couple lines inthere i think i will steal. growing in depth, not just years...mmmm. good job talking with your little one!

@daniel - and then you leave me the joke...i was thinking such good thoughts about you...smiles.

@wings - you know i think there is comfort in knowing where you stand as a kid. as uncomfortable as it is, it goes a long way in their feeling of security and our sanity.

@val - too true! happy Monday!

@lorraine - yeah. we all need to ask those questions more...and not settle for "fine." realising there is silence is the first step...

@tony - you are wise beyond your the proverb. ha.

@jayne - hit it today! momentous occassion! they grow up quick, cherish each moment!

@travel - it is worth it ove the long ruN! congrats on what sounds like a great relationship with your son. as he grows into adulthood it will help him know he can always come to you!

@crystal - yeah we have those moments of loudness as well. smiles. small investments now, pay off in the long run

@hostage - playing with our kids seems a lost art. see too often kids expected to grow up too quick only to find themselves destroyed int eh wake of what the world has for them...sad.

Brian Miller said...

@joseph - i applaud your honesty. i think there are moments we all wish we could recapture. you are still your childrens father, and i am sure by reading your words there is a lot you have to offer them. children are left to be raised by many we temper that with out time and wisdom will determine how the tree grows. Blessings.

Candie Bracci said...

Honesty is the key!

subtorp77 said...

Brian, no kids of my own, but helping to raise others, I've had to play the surrogate, at times. Answering questions..yeah that can be tough!

And love the way you describe watching the fire-works :)

Baino said...

I waited for the questions frankly then just answered them. Not at length or even in great depth, just enough to satisfy their curiosity and to tell the truth. Of course as they get older, the questions become more philosophical and we have family 'discussions' or talk about things over the dinner table. In fact I'm about to have one of those with my son tonight about 'pulling his weight' and being more organised and motivated GAH! Wish me luck!


Thank you for visiting my blog today, and your very kind comment! I really appreciate it!

Wish you a great week!


I forgot my manners: Congrats to you too, on the POTD! :)

Brian Miller said...

@candi - too true. hope you had a great weekend

@subtorp - smiles. kids can make us think in new ways.

@baino - good luck. smiles. it seems the questions come harder and faster the older they get.

@valkrien - ty. congrats as well!

Tom said...

good question...too often silences last a very long time. Sobering thoughts, thanks.

Nancy said...

My husband used to take our girls "for a ride" where he would talk to them about themselves. It is so important to mirror the values you wish to see in your son's eyes.

Brian Miller said...

@tom - too true. it seems to create a gulf we easily become comfortable with...until it is unfortunately too late.

@nancy - good for your husband. they will remember those talks. yes, we need more mirrors.

Mrsupole said...

Don't know how I missed this one. but I did.

Your boys are so blessed to have you and your wife as their parents. Things like this just show how balanced they will be when they grow up. Children cannot be sheltered forever from life, but you can try to protect them as much as possible.

I think Baino has a great answer to this. And just having a conversation as a family is wonderful.

But kids have a way of watching us to see how we react to any situation and then they will mimic us when they come across something similiar. It seems to be in our nature somehow. Which is why we parents need to be vigilant even in how the parents of our children's friends react to different situations. Some learn the hard way that all adults who have any role in our children's lives affect them. This is why teachers have such a great influence on our children. Even who they watch on TV or in movies affect them. Vigilence is so important.

They have shown that children who play violent video games have a greater tendenancy towards reacting with violence. It is a wonder that children today grow into balanced adults. Parents like you two, are their only defense and saviors.

Great job and God bless.

GTR said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.