Friday, January 16, 2009

Hudson River Hero

What does it take to be a hero? Does it really take steering a US Airways passenger plane to a safe landing in the Hudson River saving all 155 lives on board? Superman could have lifted the plane safely to shore without even letting it hit the water. Of course, Hancock might have tossed the plane in a nearby parking lot smashing all cars and small animals in their place. I guess all heroes have their own unique style. But what are heroes made of? I know we'd like to believe that a hero is invincible to everything except perhaps kryptonite, or can "flame on" in the face of danger. But heroes are made of the same stuff you and I are made of ... and maybe something a little extra inside. A person becomes a hero when, in the face of disaster, he places others before himself. A person becomes a hero when the choice to do what is right and noble overcomes the desire to do what is self-serving or apathetic. A hero often lays down his life for someone else. What makes Chesley Sullenberger a hero? Clearly, his actions speak volumes. But as I have read what others say about Mr. Sullenberger, I have found that he might have been the perfect man for this hero role. Mr. Sullenberger is a former fighter pilot with the US Air Force and he runs a safety consulting firm in addition to flying commercial aircraft. He has even been studying how to handle a crisis while in flight. You might say Chesley Sullenberger was prepared for Flight 1549 heading to Charlotte, North Carolina. He was the perfect man for this hero role.

As a dad, I can't help but wonder what I can learn from Mr. Sullenberger today. I think my role as DAD has just as much of an impact as his. Perhaps not in the same volume, but certainly with the same importance. As our culture has changed over the years, how have we grown our responsibilities as dads? Are we still leading our homes by example. Do we still exhibit strength and love. Are we the heroes that our children see? Mr. Sullenberger became a hero not because he happened to be piloting Flight 1549. He became a hero because he found himself in a place where his character, preparedness, and resolve could be seen. He was not caught of guard. Are we just as prepared? When we find ourselves in that place where our character, preparedness, and resolve is exposed...what will our children see?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Kissing Hand

I took some time off from our featured book of the week, but now am back ready for more fun in reading. The timing of this return could not be better suited as we just finished our first week of Kindergarten. What a rush of emotions it has been leading up to this week. I couldn't be more pleased with her school and am excited to take part in all the adventures this year holds. When I picked her up from school and probed for all the great details, she stated with enthusiasm, "Dad, I didn't know Kindergarten would be this much fun!" What a relief! Even more exciting was how she told me they read the very same book we had read a few nights before, The Kissing Hand. What a comfort to know that in every new adventure Mommy, or Daddy, would be right there with her the whole time. This book is a great way to ease those back-to-school worries. Thank you, Cara, for the recommendation!

Monday, July 7, 2008

You Have What it Takes

I am taking the liberty this week to depart from my usual post about our favorite children's story to recommend a book just for you, Dads. My good friend, Brian, lent me a book by John Eldredge entitled You Have What it Takes. It is a short read and only took me 30 minutes to devour this treasure chest full of super-dad principles. This book will force you into the corner of self-examination and I promise that when you emerge, you will find yourself better prepared to face the responsibilities of fatherhood. As men, we are driven to leave our mark on the world. How empowering it is to know that we have what it takes to leave the most important mark we could possibly leave - the mark of identity on our children. This booklet has reminded me of the adage that less is more. I hope you will get a copy and keep it close to you throughout your life.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Care Bears Plant a Garden

In her second hand-picked book, my daughter chose this Care Bear favorite to share. With the passing of Spring, we have watched flowers bloom and fill our neighborhood with delightful colors and fragrances. I wasn't surprised when she chose this book, one that we have read two nights in a row. In this book, the Care Bears teach us about teamwork and the fruits of its labor.

Puppy Love

These next two featured books are hand picked by my little girl herself. As I thought about why she chose this book, it became increasingly clear to me that my little girl was growing up before my eyes. You've heard me talk about her interest in boys, so it seems fitting that she would be asking herself what this word 'love' is all about. I am amazed to watch her process these feelings and begin to express them to me and to the people she cares about. Follow along as Clifford explores the emotion of love and how he finds joy in discovering how wonderful it can be.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Garfield turns 30!

I thought I would release the inner nerd in me a little today to let you all know some very important news. Today, Garfield the cat turns the big
In 1978 Garfield stepped into syndication and into our hearts as America's favorite fat, lazy, and most times obnoxious feline. I think if we allow ourselves to admit it, we will find a little taste of Garfield in all of us.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Bad Case of Stripes

My daughter went through a phase of coloring in stripes. Everything she colored got a splash of rainbow. I don't know if it was her indecision or if she really just liked all the colors, but it was her trademark for several months. I remember my mother telling me one time about all of the cute little trademarks each of her children had growing up. My brother Mark was known for giving everything a belly button. Perhaps her interest in stripes drew her to this book. A Bad Case of Stripes is a cute story of a little girl who likes lima beans and goes through all types of headache before realizing that liking lima beans is not the worst thing in the world. While lima beans may never make my list of favorite foods, this book has made our list of favorite books. We hope you enjoy it too!