Parent Blog: Don’t You Forget About Me…

“Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did WAS wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is … a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case…a princess…and a criminal…Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”

This quote from one of the greatest movies of the 20th Century which then cues up one of the most recognized songs of the 80s, titled “Don’t You (Forget About Me). The scene, where the song is introduced, is punctuated by one character (seen above) pumping his fist in the air in a classic freeze frame shot (man wouldn’t that be awesome to do, eh?!). Truly unforgetable.

This scene, along with the song has been on my mind as of late because of my daughter. While she can’t write legibly yet, she left me a letter of sorts the other day. I was preparing to go to work after playing with her in the AM when she ran to me and give me two pieces of her puzzle and said “Daddy, don’t forget about me, okay? This is so you don’t forget!”

A purple star and green circle.

She’s 3.

As I drove to my Siri-led destination, my brain moved overtime:

  • Am I too distracted with her when I am with her to give off the impression that I’m not really with her?
  • Am I not home enough?
  • Why would she say that? Who does she think she is?

You see, with adults and ESPECIALLY with spouses, we graduate from talking directly to passive agressive conversations when we’re upset. Example:

Person 1: Hey, I’m leaving now…

Spouse: Okay…well have fun. I’ll be here. (subtext: You get to be out and I’m with the kids all day…with no car.)*

Person 1: I could stay a bit later. Do you want me to stay? (Subtext: I’m sure I did SOMETHING…can’t figure it…)

Spouse: No. It’s fine. (subtext: I shouldn’t TELL you to stay. You should just stay, dummy!)

But kids, just come out and say it: “I want you to stay with me and play and laugh and make a mess and have snacks and (big breath……) tickle me and play hide and seek and giggle and watch the Lorax right now, okay?”

And so, as a father aiming to be a better one, I HAVE TO reevaluate how I do my time spending. I have to let her words sink into my soul and reform my way of being, because if she said it, she feels it. And if she feels it, I have to work on fixing it. Here’s what I think so far:

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Sent From Above…What a Gift!

It’s not what you think.

This is not a heartfelt blog about someone/something that has been a blessing to my life. This is not a God-blog. You know what I mean, right? The ones about how “heaven is close & the kingdom is near“? Yeah, not that type of blog. Not that I don’t like ’em or even can’t write em. But this ain’t one.

At all.

Unless God was sending me a sign.

Here…let me explain.

Last week, I did something  I rarely do. I went downtown. Now this is not because I hate downtown or anything but moreso because I have no reason to ever go downtown, plus I ain’t got no extra coin to spend on downtown swag (except for the NEW ERA hat store…that is a piece of heaven, for real.). Anyhow, as part of my new responsibilities with my alma mater Master’s College and Seminary (I’m co-teaching a class on Pop Culture and Media. It’s cool. Cool cool cool.), we went downtown for a pop culture tour to see a TIFF movie, a taping of George Strombo (on whom I now have a slight man crush on *blushes*), a taping of Much Music’s New Music Live (60 mins, 2 videos…TWO.) and a red carpet entrance (no stars…).

At the start of the morning, I was feeling excited and nervous at the same time. See, I’m a 31-year-old going to spend a day with a bunch of 20 somethings whom I don’t know well and I never do well in those situations. I’m the “try-too-hard-to-be-funny-only-to-come-off-awkward-type of guy”. I work with a bunch of 20 somethings  every week who are like family to me so they get the awkward guy part and accept me for who I beeez, which is awesome. But in a new setting, it can be off-putting…which is even worse when you know it! So I get dressed (tried to hard to be hip…Wifey thought I looked…how do you say “less manly” without offending someone who accidentally googles ‘Chris Chase Girly Man’?), get on a school bus, memorize 24 names and get over my internal fear of embarrassing myself.

When we get downtown, I connected with some of the students who I already knew over The Office and Simpsons references (it IS a pop culture class…) while waiting in line for Great Expectations. Around high buildings.

Filled with birds.

And as we walk into the theatre, my body feels several droplets of what I thought was water on my chest and arms.

And my face.

Then I heard gasps and some laughs. And I smelt what I can only describe as Liam after eating prunes.

Yup…from above I was crapped on. By a bird.

I imagine it had been following us from Ajax, waiting to hurt one of us with its deadly dangers of poop. And it struck me with such force that I smelled bad. And was terribly embarrassed.

Yet, the poop was a great ice breaker for me…I didn’t have to worry about being cool, because I was crapped on. I didn’t have to worry about what I was wearing, because I was crapped on. I could be me. With no worries. AND it missed the beard by this much!

What a gift. What a crappy “crappy” gift!

#seewhatIdidthere?

If you have a similar story, I’d love to have some dialogue with you on it. Leave a comment OR email me at cchase101@gmail.com. We’ve all got a story, so let’s share them. Also, feel free to subscribe to this blog by clicking the “subscribe me” button. Thanks – Chase

Little Miss Independent (Letter to Ellie)

Last Friday I took Ellie to the park for our Daddy Daughter date. It was something in the works for some time and it was worth the walk there and back. I wish there was a way to capture on paper the joyous sound she made as the stroller rolled closer and closer to our destination. It was infectious. I laughed with delight as she ran up and down the jungle gym but paused with horror as she approached the slide. It was a BIG KID slide, with a twist and everything! instinctively, I ran up the gym to join her for what could only be seen as an adorable gesture of love and protection to all around. Not so to Ellie.

She, with command in her voice like a linebacker calling a blitz, said aloud, “No DADDY, I do it, kay?!”

And with that she went down the slide, leaving me the go down after her turn was over, looking more this time like a creep than adorable father.

Now Ellie has been using that line a lot lately for just about everything but at that moment, I realized in a small way that I was losing my little girl. Over-dramatic you might say…crazy even! I say, I don’t care! I remember when she was completely dependent on Becca and I (mostly Becca for obvious gender reasons) for everything. I mean, she couldn’t burp without someone to tap her back. I remember how fun it was to teach her how to walk and how through Pickering Town Center, she’d hold my hand for balance, while I’d hold her hand for comfort. I remember how she’d cuddle with us on the couch and give kisses and hugs.

Now it’s like living with a teenager! She won’t be caught dead holding me hand in the house, let alone in public. Cuddling has been replaced with a calls for Elmo & Dora. Kisses are given at her pace, not our own. And now she can do things on her own, like pick her clothes, walk down the stairs, use a grown up fork, climb up chairs and into her car seat…the list may not be big to you (or you may have a kid who is more advanced…prolly not but still…lol) but to me it’s huge. Here’s why…

…soon she’ll be able to read on her own, potty on her own, ride on two wheels, go to school on the bus, go to sleepovers, go to the movies, apply for college, go on a date (…oh God help me…and then HIM…), make decisions…everything. Of course she’ll still need me but my role will change from teacher to chauffeur to bank, to the “No-You-Can’t-Guy“, to the scapegoat, to the last resort advice to whatever she needs.

There are some days when I love the fact that makes progress, like today when we got her day care report card and we saw that she is doing great in every area. I love that she can talk so much (thanks to her sisters Jenna, Leah and Allie), dance, sing, pray and more. I love that now she knows how to play hide and seek, can count and become her own self. But at the same time, I miss being able to pick her up and simply carry her. I miss having to guess what she wanted and stuff. And this will be the rest of my life: being proud of the woman she’s becoming while missing the kid she was.

Dear Ellie,

One day you’ll look at this letter and not believe me when I say that you used to cuddle with me all the time. You’ll think the pics were created on Photoshop or whatever we have at this point. But nope. At one point in your life, you were my little girl. You’d reach up to be picked up not out of laziness but simply out of need and I was happy to give it to you. You’d sit in the back of the car and listen to music with me and not roll your eyes at my dance move but instead, you’d dance like me. You’d hold my hand and tell me you loved me in front of your friends. We’d have sleepovers when you were sick and freezes on the steps together. You’d sing Elmo’s World, Justin Bieber (remember the guy who was working at the Gap that one time? Yup, he used to be HUGE!) and Dora all day. You weren’t always so independent…but you’ve grown up to be strong, capable, smart, beautiful (I mean you DO look like your mom, kiddo), talented and accomplished. 

I watched everything and was proud all the time as I am now. I watched as those innocent green eyes took in the world and became mature and wise. I watched as you dealt with heartbreak, questions of faith and issues of morality and came out on the other side with everything intact. I am so proud of you, Eliana. And I’m thankful that from time to time, you still needed my help. And as it was when you were learning to walk, I’ll hold your hand through anything until you tell me as you did at two years old…

…No daddy. I do it, kay?

Love you, kiddo.

#EODYC “Friday” – The Performance!!!!! (read and rt)

 

Here’s the proof!

 

Click on this link to see myself, Matt Robinson and Ian Walters perform Rebecca Black’s insult to ears and music called “Friday”. This link will take you to facebook so you’ll need to log onto it it to see it.

But it’s worth it. Trust me. I wouldn’t share it if it wasn’t!

Yup, wasn’t a dream. It did happen. You can fast forward through the preamble. It really did look like fun.

I’ll try to get a youtube version up here as soon as possible!

Thanks for reading, watching and dreaming!

If you were in school today, this is the BEST after school gift you could ever get!!!

PS – Any thoughts on a song for next year?

Laughing, Learning, Loving and Leading (Easter Monday Thoughts)

I’m currently sitting in our family room…

Ellie is in her pyjamas playing with Lego, strollers, ponies…still rocking her afro.

Becca is resting on the couch after a full week of singing her heart out during our easter presentation. Her rest (along with the other volunteers and staff who served) is MORE than deserved! Now her an Ellie are cuddling on the couch reading about God’s creation. It’s a beautiful scene. Later today we’re going to the park for Ellie’s first Easter Egg hunt. I love my family!

And I’m here with my coffee in a state of beautiful contemplation. This Easter has been so…moving.  Here are some of my thoughts, observations and experiences based on the Easter month, especially the last week.

  • Today is the day after the resurrection. It’s the first day of the work week but the 2nd day of the actual week. Jesus’ resurrection starts a new week for us. It signified that he was and is making all things new. We can move forward in a different direction from where we going. The playing field changed on Good Friday. The scope was borderline depressing on Saturday. The game was WIDE OPEN and winning on Sunday. And we live in that victory. I can be better.
  • I heart my church. I would hate to miss Good Friday service or Easter Sunday at APC. Pastor Keith says (and I agree) that our church has a great Christology. It’s true. Because of that, the Good Friday service is more than a memorial service with hymns and Easter Sunday is more than a party. They are, instead, true reflections of the redemptive work of Jesus through song, teaching and community among all ethnicities and generations. Every thing is so genuine…so when people have that moment of jubilant praise on Easter Sunday, you know it’s not a put on. It’s real, from the heart, from the soul. It’s a real THANK YOU JESUS moment. I wouldn’t want to celebrate it anywhere else.
  • We sang ‘Glorious’ by Paul Baloche at our Sunday Morning services. I only got through half of it at the 9 am and through the first line at the 11 AM before a wave of sincere emotion hit me. And in those moments, I learned this: I am a UGLY crier. Oh man…the joy of the resurrection hit me deeply and brought out tears of joy…that sounded like grossness wrapped in ‘oh man…’. I need to meet a good guy-crier and learn how to do it right:) It was a really powerful moment for me. Hearing close to 1300 people sing ‘Look beyond the tombstone/see the living God/see the resurrected/ruler of my heart’ in unison will always give me goosebumps.
  • Okay, enough weepy stuff! Something that was fun: I got to do a walk-on during our worship times to lead ‘Happy Day’. It went like this: Dr. Van Johnson led ‘You Have Saved Us’, then i walk out, lead Happy Day (and hit the high note), then leave. It was a lot of fun. The joy in the room was enough to make the most unhappy person do a two-step. I do know however, though it went unsaid, that I was asked to do the song cause my friend Dr. Van doesn’t like doing that high note, so I take it with a grain of salt:) It was still fun though and I appreciate the invite from my friend (and if you know me, you know HOW MUCH I love SNL-type walk-ons. I’m just trying to get to that Saj McKenley-status. Don’t worry, it’s all love!)!
  • Ellie is a doll. On the way home from our presentation on Friday night, her and Becca had a great chat about Jesus, where our daughter proclaimed that Jesus loved her, and mommy. apparently, He’s still on the fence about Daddy. On Sunday following our Easter Sunday service, she came home singing the Hallelujah chorus and Happy Day and saying Jesus is alive. I love that even at two, Jesus can impact a life! And I’m thankful for a church that mixes the traditional (The Hallelujah Chorus) with the older (My Redeemer Lives) and the new (You Have Saved Us)!  She is also really stinkin’ cute, rocking her afro and red (and or pink) Converse shoes and leading the annual Worship march.
  • I am so proud of our church staff and volunteers who put their lives on pause to be in our Easter presentation. After practicing for months, they literally took 7 days to pour into our church and share about Jesus in a creative way. I get to say, “I work with THEM!” I’d get specific with names but then I’d forget one person, they’d read it and then I’d be that guy who only remembers SOME and NOT all:) So to all of you, thank you for your tireless work, efforts and ministry. We’re all proud of you! And Muse is great.
  • Our Wednesday night Journey to The Cross XP was amazing. Over 200 people came through the interactive stations to walk through Jesus’ last week. Hearing the response let me know that we did something special.
  • My wife is amazing. Even with a bad cold, she killed her song (with Andre) every single time. I have known her for 10 years and have heard her sing enough for 20, yet I never heard her like that before. It was amazing each time, with something new added (a run, an ad-lid, etc.). Specific thanks go to my friends Kent and Maria for choosing her and being great support to her during her stay with the awesome chorale. The vocals were so tight!!! And in the midst of performing, she was still a great wife and mom, even making an amazing Easter Sunday roast!
  • The entire Easter week is a heart trip once you step into the actual narrative. 8 days filled with the following: praise, a parade, palm branches, psalm quotes, turning over tables, arguments, frustrations, goodbyes, betrayals, lies, fulfilled scriptural prophecies concerning Jesus, political intrigue, religious posturing, illegal trials, loneliness, pain, anguish, abuse, prayer, a cross, loss, death, victory-IN-death, doubt, questions, fear, surprise, life, change, strength and victory-IN-LIFE! And there is so much more to it…the story is so rich and deep, moving and strong, exclusive yet amazingly personal.
  • I love new friendships and strengthening old ones. Easter puts things in new perspective. If I have a ‘beef’ in light of the resurrection, I’m a dummy. I need to make things right and do right and honor what’s been given for me. Jesus didn’t die so I can ignore people. That’s a waste of the best life ever.
  • I got to lead a song with my daughter on my arm. And no one thought anything by it. I heart my church. Did I say that already?
  • Lastly, our Easter play (whose main theme is always redemption) is FILLED with people who have been REDEEMED! It’s awesome to see people who were in Alpha a year prior out of our presentation now acting and sharing in the story this year. Thank you God.

So that was Easter for me. But it’s not over! We live on this side of the Resurrection now! And Easter is like the church’s Happy New Year moment! It’s all summed up in this tweet I saw and then stole (while giving credit to its author):

“Easter isn’t a day we just go to church. It’s a picture of why we ARE the church every other day the year!”

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, do me a favor and spread the love by pressing one of the share buttons so more will tune it to read! Thanks & Happy Easter!

Eliana, The Biebs and Being a Kid – Just Dance!!

You know you used to do it.

You’d be in your room reading, cleaning, chilling and then your JAM would come on. So you’d close the door, turn up your TV, radio, walk or disc man and get on your feet. You’d sing out those lyrics like you were at a concert or making your own music video and go for broke with bad amateur night dance moves, spins, call and response and more.

Then if your parents or siblings walked in, you’d act like you weren’t doing anything. “…GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!

You know you did it. Some of us still do from time to time.

I tweeted last night that my daughter, Ellie, is now into Justin Bieber. And by that I mean she just likes the song ‘Baby’. She won’t cry if she meets him or die if she doesn’t. She just really likes the song.

A LOT!

Well, during her bathtime, we played the song (via Daddy’s iPad) at LEAST four times and each time that chorus came on, her little voice got loud with joy and glee. She has no clue what she’s singing about, she simply loves the ‘OHHHHH’ and ‘NOOOOOO’ parts! And it was adorable. She then got into her pyjamas, found a mirror and went to Funky Town, with jumping and dancing…all while watching her own moves.

(Check Ellie’s Bieber dance right here.)

And it brought me back to dancing in my room or basement to Kris Kross’ ‘Jump‘, MC Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This and yes, ‘Hanging Tough‘ by the New Kids. During those moments, nothing could bring me down. In a good mood? Get your David Bowie on and “Let’s Dance”! Bad mood? Time to get my ‘Hot Rod’ on and Punch dance out my rage (if you haven’t seen this movie, you need to. So irreverent. So stupid. So funny!).

Now that I am an adult, that dancing on my own with completely lack of fear is mostly replaced by two-stepping around the house (although, on a really good day…). But Ellie reminds me, there are some parts of my childhood that I should never lose. It’s still fun sometimes to jump up and down and dance til you drop.

And I have to thank Justin Bieber for that. Oh man, that hurts…

So…comments! What song still gets you moving after all this time???

What we’ve lived through

Feb 14th, 2011 will be 6 years exactly since Becca and I (and now little Ellie) have been on staff at Agincourt Church in Toronto.

In the past 6 years, here’s what’s happened in culture (I’m remembering some…don’t kill me if I forget some!):

Avatar
Saddam Hussein got caught
The Bed Intruder didn’t…but got a song made about him
Kanye verses Taylor, Bush, NBC…and a whole lot of other people
Katrina, the Massacre in Bombay & Haiti
The death and repopularization (made up word…) of Michael Jackson
The Sox won the World Series (’04…not the ’07 one)
The rise of Auto-Tune
YouVersion
Brokeback Mountain
The end of Lost/24 and the start of Glee/Modern Family/Mad Men
The decline of American Idol
The iPhone (and fake pretenders)
Twilight
The threat of nuclear war
The 2010 Olympics (The golden goal, Rochette and the craze for Canadian clothing)
Satelite Radio
North Korea
Sarah Palin and the Tea Party
The Rise, RISE, leveling and current falling of President Obama’s popularity (dude still has Jigga on his iPod)
LeCrae (Christian Rapper) getting play on iTunes and CNN

Crazy huh…I remember most of these moments so clearly. What things in the past 6 years stood out to you? What did I forget? What needs more shine? If this were an award show, what would get the “BIGGEST NEWS” award? What does this list tell you about our world? What do you hope to see or experience next?

Every year brings highs, low and a reminder that we need to stay connected to God and to one another…here’s looking forward, friends!