The King Eats First: Sean Whalen

fatherhood

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The King Eats First: Sean Whalen

Our culture is in the midst of a masculine crisis. Too many of our men are broken, perpetuating many of society’s problems. Men’s coach Sean Whalen, of Lions Not Sheep, joins us to talk about these quintessential masculine dilemmas.

https://www.facebook.com/swhalen

http://frescoshirts.com/collections/lions-not-sheep

 

 

36 laps around the sun

SO…. it’s my birthday today!  Hooray! Or something. Initially, I planned on writing a self indulgent article about what my 30’s have been like so far.  I’m just not feeling it this morning.  I have amazing friends. Thank you all for the good energy you impart into my life.  I also have amazing daughters.  Today, I am feeling very grateful.

I just want to talk about my oldest daughter for a second. Music is the love of my life, and has been a savior to me on countless occasions.  I owe who I am today to the trumpet and to my music teachers during my teens.  When Mireesa and were expecting, of course – I had high hopes for my daughter to find a deep love of

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Comedy. Period.

While I was at the comedy club tonight, I got a call from my former wife’s house.  I ran out and took the call; it was my 10 yr old daughter.  “Dad, can I talk to you about something for a second?”  She was clearly upset.

“You know we were talking about dreams the other day, and how sometimes dreams seem so real, you can’t tell if they really happened or not?”

“Sure”.

Her voice started to tremble and crack as she proceeded: “I had a dream last night and I think it might have been kind of inappropriate…   and I know I shouldn’t have done this, but

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Paul Duane’s Angels

My daughters turned a new leaf yesterday!  There are times when I want to do activities with them that, in my fatherly opinion, KICK ASS.  Often times they do not agree.

Example:  For the longest time, I have loved building and flying model rockets. A few summers ago, the girls agreed to do it as an activity one weekend.  We bought some rocket kits, brought them home, built them, painted them, and then went out to fly them.  It seemed like the perfect activity: a blend of craft project and science.  Making memories with my kids building stuff, AND exposing them to things that can inspire their natural scientific curiosity? YES! These are my favorite things.  However, that would be the only time we flew rockets:  they were afraid of the sound they make when they take off.  For those of you who’ve never done it before – it’s just a hissing sound of moderate volume.  It’s really not a big deal.

On with the story:

A few weeks ago, I picked up a Glock 36 .45 pistol.  As a gun owner and a father, safety is an utmost concern. I believe that one of the best ways to ensure the safety of my kids is through

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Father’s Day 2011

My God. There are glowing images of fathers teaching their kids to ride a bike… small children running into the outstretched arms of actors who probably have no kids, but are pretending to be a father. 3 second vignettes of tender daddy moments ad nauseum.  The song playing in tandem is none other than “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler On The Roof.  It’s a very melancholy tune:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzK3Jl64dyc

” Is this the little girl I carried? / Is this the little boy at play? / I don’t remember growing older  / When did they? / When did she get to be a beauty? / When did he grow to be so tall?  / Wasn’t it yesterday / When they were small? Sunrise, sunset, Sunrise, sunset / Swiftly flow the days / Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers / Blossoming even as we gaze / Sunrise, sunset, Sunrise, sunset / Swiftly fly the years /One season following another / Laden with happiness and tears /What words of wisdom can I give them? / How can I help to ease their way? / Now they must learn from one another Day by day”

Next up on KSL is a “family expert” talking about how to be a good father.  He’s talking about being a leader and a protector. This leads me to my next topic…

Those of you who are closest to me may know the nuanced feelings I have about religion.  For those of you who have not met me, I’ll try to summarize it here:  I believe that organized religion is a corrosive influence in the spirit of a person, because it detaches a person from their own sense of morality.   I believe that there is nothing in life as important, beautiful, powerful, and peace giving, that one’s ability to listen to one’s intuition, trust it, and follow it, no matter how difficult those choices may be.   It’s called integrity. Organized religion places priority on compliance with with the dictums of the organization over the silent, inner knowing of the individual.  “Listen to the still small voice, as long as it agrees with us”.  There is nothing more destructive than this.

As the father of Makinley and Makelle, I feel compelled to teach them to have integrity and to follow their inner knowing. If I gave them nothing else in this world but that, I would feel like a decent dad.

Up until now, I have been supportive of them attending church.

Makinley is about to turn 12. This is the point where she will begin to be shepherded into reading the Book of Mormon, to gain “her own testimony” of it. The problem is that from day 1 of her life, she has been surrounded by sobbing adults in weekly church meetings professing their “knowledge” of it’s truthfulness.  There is also an implicit message that gaining one’s own “testimony” is the only way to remain a part of the tribe. To arrive at a different conclusion is to commit social and familial suicide.

I believe that today is the day when I have the talk with Makinley about seeking truth.

I believe that if I did not have this talk with her, I would have major regrets about my life as a father.

Check back for more on how this all goes down.

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