Don’t you just love the smell of popcorn?  It’s almost the perfect snack.  Usually low in fat, good for the teeth and gums, light and airy, it doesn’t weigh you down.  You can eat a whole tub of the stuff, at a movie, and not even know it until it’s gone.  Even movie-popcorn.jpgthose that failed to pop, the old maids, are good, often saved until the end to be savored. 

Like I said, almost the perfect snack.

  1. Popcorn never tastes as good at home as it does in the movies.
  2. Without butter it looses much of its appeal.
  3. Butter adds fat.
  4. When they heap the bucket full, you just can’t begin to eat it without dropping a bunch on the floor.
  5. There are never enough napkins to adequately clean the butter off your fingers.
  6. No amount of brushing gets all the kernels out of your teeth.  They often show up days after they are eaten.
  7. An immature old maid can break a tooth.

 Now some of you are saying, “what does this have to do with fatherhood?”  To that I reply, everything:

  1. Popcorn never tastes as good at home as it does in the movies. This should be obvious to anyone who has fought the fight of fatherhood.  The movies always show the perfect father/child relationship.  Movie fathers always know exactly what to say and when father-knows-best.jpgto say it. In reality, every father struggles with their relationships.  Children are on a journey to grow up.  They test the limits of their environment   We don’t always know what to say and when we do it seldom seems to be the right thing.  This leads to frustration for both father and child and often results in, hopefully, temporary outbursts of raised voices and emotional firefights.  We all struggle with the demands of work, marriage, church, traffic, relationships and fatherhood as well as a myriad of other things that tear at our time.  We need to remember, all things in moderation. The trick is to find the right balance to our lives and at the same time remember the eyes of our children are on us.
  2. Without butter it looses much of its appeal.  Butter is what keeps us coming back to popcorn.  Without it, popcorn just isn’t the same.  A lot of people will take exception to this comment, but if they really are honest with themselves, in a guiltless society they would choose butter.  Fathers need some butter in their lives as well.  Parenting, in general is a lot of work and many see it as somewhat thankless.  It doesn’t need to be that way.  A fellow blogger about fatherhood, was relating to his Fathers Day experience with his 12 year old son.(Thechaly)  In the end, he says he learned from his son, that it is OK to let down being a father at times.  It is times like these that fathers can experience the butter on their popcorn.
  3. Butter adds fat. Like butter, trying to be a peer to your children as a steady diet is not good for you or your children.  The roles of father and child are everywhere in nature and are a part of our spiritual make up.  If we try to change these roles, it always ends up suboptimal.  Better to have the occasional vacation from these roles, which actually build more support and respect for them, than to go overboard and strive to always be your child’s friend, to the detriment of the child.
  4. When they heap the bucket full, you just can’t begin to eat it without dropping a bunch on the floor.  As fathers our buckets are always full to overflowing.  We must be skillful in how we handle everything in that bucket; otherwise things that fall on the floor will be irretrievable, or at best unhealthy.  We live in a time that much is required of us, but we also have more resources available to us than at any time in history.  Look for those resources and don’t be afraid to use them.  We are all here to help you strategically raise your children.
  5. There are never enough napkins to adequately clean the butter off your fingers.  You just can’t eat buttered popcorn without getting that stuff on your fingers.  We lick, dab, wipe and shake, but it still remains.  It is just a part of the experience.  The experience of fatherhood will, likewise, leave residue on your hands.  Consider this a blessing, for without children you would not have an occasion for this residue.  There are many men in this world that would do almost anything to have the experience you do.  They can’t or don’t have children and pray daily for the opportunity.  God has chosen you to be blessed in this way.  Make the most of it.  Share your experiences with others, who are on the same journey, it will help you both find your way along the path.
  6. No amount of brushing gets all the kernels out of your teeth.  They often show up days after they are eaten. You know how it is, you think you have done everything then right there in the middle of your presentation to the CEO, something shows up on your front tooth.  You can see everyone in the room staring at your disfigured tooth, which seems to shine like a beacon to your incompetence as a washer of teeth.  You just can’t control it.  They come out when they will and not at your choosing.  Children are the same way.  Because they are developing adults, they will show up and/or talk at the most inopportune of times.  They are testing their new found skills and are more than ready to find a forum to express themselves.  Understand they are not doing it to embarrass you but are actually following your example.  They are just not as experienced as you.
  7. An immature old maid can break a tooth.  If we reserve the old maids until the end in order to savor them, then we know we are taking a risk.  Some of them just haven’t been in the heat long enough to reach that crunchy stage we all like so much.  Your children are experiencing the heat of refinement everyday.  If we try to help them avoid that heat, we run the risk of them remaining immature throughout their life.  Many times the heartbreak this brings is unbearable.Do you remember the old Jiffy Pop pans?jiffy-pop.jpg  You would hold them over the fire and shake them back and forth until the popcorn inside exploded and forced the tin foil that covered it to expand and ultimately break open revealing the popcorn treasure inside.  As fathers we need to hold just the right balance of heat and shaking to help our children blossom into that inviting and satisfying individual that resides within. 

    The point is; if we want to have that perfect family unit, we are not likely to even approach it without a lot of work.  We can’t be afraid to get our hands dirty and we can’t control every aspect of our children’s environment.  If we try, we are doomed to the possibility of something that doesn’t taste quite right.

     Surround your children with love and support.  Give them affirmation and discipline in equal measure.  Be steady handed, don’t turn the fire up too high, and you will be very pleased with the end result. 

    En servicio como padre



1 Response to “Popcorn”

  1. 1 Charles Arcario June 23, 2007 at 7:22 AM

    I was wondering why it started with “Pop”…



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