Love this. Reminds me that I need to start up Boy’s Club again with Wyatt. Be purposeful.
When I was growing up a man in my church gave me perhaps the greatest gift I have ever received…weekly, uninterrupted, quality time. Mr. Zechman was a busy guy. He had four busy and successful daughters of his own. He was involved in our church and community in all sorts of ways. He had a demanding job and was a public figure in our town. He was the kind of guy who should not have had time for a goofy ninth grade boy like me. And yet he made time.
My wife and I recently finished playing through Detroit: Become Human together. By the time the credits rolled:
Connor might as well be dead.
Kara made it across the finish line, alone.
Alice’s abusive father was given closure.
Decisions, slight choice variations, gave us a super sad ending. Our ending was so bad, that as the credits rolled, Tabitha and I were on Youtube watching other endings. I’m not sure I have ever done that for any other game.
Director David Cage likes to swing for the fences with his games. In Detroit: Become Human, I think he finally pieced together a coherent world with an unrelenting storyline. A story that grabbed my wife and I from the beginning… and didn’t let go. Detroit was the perfect summer game.
— Welcome to Spoiler Country —
The feeling of real consequence.
The branching choice paths/story variations.
Playing through the game with my wife. Our late night conversations about the story.
Alice being given closure when her abusive dad shows up at the bus terminal (no, I didn’t kill him in the beginning).
Kara making it to freedom.
Hillary Clinton is President in Detroit: Become Human
The language. I felt like the f-word was used as emotional shorthand.
How much I was made to dislike humanity. Humans are gross pigs! Only towards the end of the game were one or two humans given a chance to shine.
Markus dying. I should have retreated from the police versus sacrificing Markus. Markus held Jericho together; he was the glue. Without Markus, the option for peace was removed and violence became the end game with new leader North.
Alice dying. The foreshadowing that the river crossing into Canada being treacherous was true. Bullets kill androids too.
Freedom. Equality. The end of slavery for androids everywhere. In the closing moments of Detroit: Become Human, I was presented with two choices:
Suicide – In Detroit’s case, this equaled one last defiant act of freedom.
Slavery – Become a puppet leader, to an evil corporation, used to control the newly freed androids.
After spending hours with Connor, I struggled with these two choices. There was no way I was going to choose suicide… so I forever imprisoned Connor to his corporate masters. Tabitha looked at me, “Bryan!” I immediately wished I could go back and change that choice. Death was a better decision than eternal slavery. Instead, I let my human emotions enslave a person and a people. So much for all their blue blood spilled.
There have been times, as a parent, where I’ve thought that I have had everything figured out. Moments where I mistakenly concluded that I had mastered the art of parenting. Looking back on old photos, I realize now that I knew nothing. The older Wyatt grows, the more I feel unequipped as a dad. Each day presenting a new challenge, a new set of decisions on how best to guide my child.
Parenting an almost 9 year old, I have been learning about freedom and letting go. Making what feel like hard decisions in the moment, like sending him to summer camp for a week by himself. Emotion versus logic battle it out:
Emotion: He is too young to be gone for a week by himself. What if he gets scared or wants to come home?
Logic: We can always go pick him up if need be. He’ll be in a safe place. Our Children’s Director, who is amazing, is going to camp/loves the camp they are attending.
The instant gut reaction of “lets wait until next year” gives way to questions of why. Tab and I are learning to push through these gut reactions, compare them against non-emotional truths, and then ask Wyatt what he thinks. Giving him voice and a choice in the decision at hand has helped us both make a final decision. Big decisions, such as “let’s try this!”
Parenting is not easy. But I’m thankful for the grace that is given to parents which allows us to grow up alongside our children. Grace that allows me to admit that I do not know everything about parenting, but I know a little.
Homeschooling is not for everyone. I was homeschooled from the fourth grade all the way through high school. I had been falling behind both academically and socially. Public school was failing me by passing me on from one teacher to the next. I had trouble with reading, math, etc. My parents realized what was going on and brought me home. I’m thankful.
Tabitha and I have always said that our children would attend public school. As long as the teachers and the overall district were willing to work with us, we’d stick with it. Our children would be good examples for others to follow. Salt and light.
Enter our son:
Helped teach his fellow students in kindergarten
Excelled through first grade
Has continued in second grade to consistently earn high grades
Reads on a middle school grade level
(I can brag as a dad, right?)
The boy wants to be pushed. He wants to learn multiplication and how to write in cursive. Our fear is that his enthusiasm for learning is going to be snuffed out unless he is challenged. We realize that public school can only do so much for him. A teacher has to teach so that all students are on the same middle ground. That means that the higher students in the class are often ignored. Not the teacher’s fault at all. Teaching is hard.
So how do you make the decision to homeschool?
Throw some dice?
Spin a bottle?
I know the challenges that are involved with it. I have seen them firsthand. I know the impact it has on a family and on a marriage.
Social outlets are essential. Support in the form of a homeschool group help a bunch. The kids never leave the house… ever. Mental fortitude is a requirement.
Indeed, for years after my “What should I do with my life?” conversations with God, I did not realize that what I had been actually looking for wasn’t so much “God’s will for my life.” What I was really looking for was a way to be relieved of the anxiety that comes with taking responsibility for making a difficult decision.
Note: My wife and I made a rather difficult decision last night. One of those “burn the ships” sort of decisions. I thought this post from the past was appropriate as its truth is timeless.
This morning I read in Matthew 7. Something that really stuck out to me was in verses 7-8:
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. – Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)