The Man Upstairs

As a father, I’m in uncharted territory. For more than a decade I’ve been raising a bunch of young children, but that is changing. I officially have a teenager now. My eldest son is a good soul, which bodes well for the coming years of guiding him, and his younger siblings, on the rocky path to adulthood.

I’d like to share a couple of experiences I recently had with my eldest son that give me hope for him in the future.

He Likes My Jokes

The other day, I was encouraging one of his younger brothers to take a bath. A parenting strategy I employ is to give my children two choices, both of which achieve the same goal while giving them some agency. I asked him, “Do you want to take a bath in the upstairs bathroom or the downstairs bathroom?” He selected the former option, which prompted me to tell him a little joke. “That’s perfect because that’s what we do when we wash your hair. We stare up, so it makes sense that you would do it upstairs.”

I did that within earshot of my other kids, and my eldest laughed and said, “Most dad jokes are terrible, but yours are always great.”

His words made me beam with pride. I love telling my own original jokes to brighten people’s days.

Not All Fun and Games

While it’s good to inspire laughter in others, life isn’t all fun and games. It’s important to know that parents can be trusted to be serious when it counts, too. And my eldest son knows that about me.

My wife recently sent me the following text, “[Our son] just told me ‘matureness’ is his middle name because his middle name is Robert.”

That’s right, I gave my son my first name as his middle name. My dad gave me his first name as my middle name, so I thought it would be a nice thing to do. I’m grateful that he thinks of me as the epitome of maturity because that is what I wish for him to achieve in life. I see a lot of my strengths and weaknesses in him. Thankfully, I was able to confront and overcome many of my weaknesses early in life. I hope he will be able to, as well.

The Man Upstairs

All of this reminds me of a scene in The Lego Movie. That movie revolves around the relationship between a father and his son. The story comes to a head when the father comes downstairs to the basement to see what his son has been doing with his Lego sets. Over the years, he forgot that toys are meant for children, not for grownups. So he has to learn the lesson that his son deserves a chance to be a kid and have fun with his Legos, even if it gets pretty messy.

The Man Upstairs has to descend to his son’s level, both literally and figuratively, to give him a hug and see eye to eye with the boy. I love turning the word “upstairs” into a joke, and The Lego Movie also does a good job turning many things into jokes. But when the time comes to show our sons and daughters that we love them, fathers would do well to get serious and make sure our children believe us.

In other words, it’s important to emulate the Father of us all. Our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ are the ultimate examples to every father and son here on Earth. Jesus was perfectly obedient to His Father, and His Father expressed how pleased He was to see His Son achieve His mission in life of providing salvation to us. The Man Upstairs is happy when we obey Him because that makes us happy.

This world gets pretty messy, and it’s not as orderly as it would be if we simply put God first in our lives. That’s why God sent His Only Begotten Son to descend to our level and lift us up. If we believe in Him and follow His commandments, we don’t have to remain in the basement forever. We can put away childish things and join Him upstairs as equals.

I hope we will all have cause to beam with pride at our children’s actions, and offer the same satisfaction to our own fathers and mothers. As I’ve heard in a hymn, “There is One who smiles on high when there’s love at home.” That is so true, or His middle name isn’t… actually, I don’t know what Father in Heaven’s middle name is. “In,” I suppose? Hopefully I’ll learn to have as much matureness as Him and His Son one day.

This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.

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About Robert Lockard, the Deja Reviewer

Robert Lockard has been a lover of writing since he was very young. He studied public relations in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2006. His skills and knowledge have helped him to become a sought-after copywriter in the business world. He has written blogs, articles, and Web content on subjects such as real estate, online marketing and inventory management. His talent for making even boring topics interesting to read about has come in handy. But what he really loves to write about is movies. His favorite movies include: Fiddler on the Roof, Superman: The Movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, The Fugitive, The Incredibles, and The Dark Knight. Check out his website: Deja Reviewer. Robert lives in Utah with his wife and four children. He loves running, biking, reading, and watching movies with his family.
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