Love and Attraction in Eden

To SunshineMary, who won’t give up:

Hypergamy is the female desire for a better man. Koreogamy is the male desire for another woman. Polygyny is what we get when these forces meet. Monogamy is the standard Christians have been given.

Christianity calls us to the Truth, as Christ is the Truth. So how do we reconcile these seemingly un-Christian concepts with the very Christian concept of monogamous marriage? “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

So watch this…

If you are a Christian, that means to be in Christ, and He in you. To be in Christ means to be part of an eternal, ever-new being; the Alpha and the Omega. Who He is today he will be tomorrow, but He will be greater than He was before. You, Christian, are therefore a new creation in Christ; more Him today than you were yesterday; less you today than you will be tomorrow; ever-new, ever-you, as you were meant to be.

If you are married, that means for a man to leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife. She becomes his body, and he becomes her head. The two become one. Together, in Christian marriage, they are a new creation in Christ. The husband who love his wife, and is respected by her, becomes more Christ-like, renewed and transformed to be more like Christ, more like himself. The wife who respects her husband, and is loved by him becomes more Christ-like, renewed and transformed to be more like Christ, more like herself.

The woman a man marries today is not the woman he will be married to tomorrow, and the man a woman marries, likewise. Through this sanctification process of leading and encouraging each other to be new and more Christ-like; she gets a new and better husband; stronger, wiser, and braver than she had yesterday.  The husband wakes up with a different wife than he went to sleep with. She is more beautiful in his sight, more elegant, and graceful than the woman he married.

Oneitis is the only reconciliation of these truths. Bite once, and bite deeply.

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Half As Well As You Deserve

Most people would call me a conservative, with libertarian leanings, and I don’t argue with them. I read a lot of self-professed conservative writing. I write from a position that nearly 100% of non-conservatives would call conservative, and I’d wager over 50% of self-proclaimed conservatives would, as well.* It stands to reason that we (conservatives and I) agree on a lot of things. It also stands that a good deal of the reason we agree is because my mind has a conservative bent to it, and so does theirs.

The illusion with this is that it’s very easy to start thinking that because someone agrees with you, and you agree with them, that you’re right. The reality is that very often you’re simply agreeable to each other; you like each other. This is how liberals get stuck thinking their views are correct, because it is a human problem. It is also how one corrupts another; agreeing and amplifying each other until the Tea Partiers are standing out there with signs that say “Keep Government out of Medicare”, or a wife comes home from one too many Girls’ Night Outs and announces that she’s not happy.

The fact that someone likes me, or I like them, or I agree with them, or they with me has very little bearing on how I should interact with them, and no bearing whatsoever on whether they are right. Do they agree with God? That is the question you have to answer to say whether a person is right. Which is about much more than whether they pay lip service to God, or quote scripture…whether I like it or not.

It’s not enough to write or visit or comment on the blogs of self-professed Christians if what we say there is not consistent with Christianity; whether by wrong orthodoxy or devious orthopraxy. Of the two the second is much worse. So, what are you doing there, on those blogs?

Before you answer that question, ask yourself, “Am I the kind of guy who likes to impose my frame on others through force of personality, or am I the type of guy who tries to endear myself to people by showing that I’m compatible with them? Be honest because this will tell you not only what you’re doing there, but how you’ll be perceived by others–especially women. They have much more training and inclination to social forces than most men, and will sniff you out before even you know what you’ve implied. If you’re that second guy you are at a huge disadvantage in the amplify and agree game, and you will get turned around by someone; either the women, or the first guy. Because I think you’ll understand me better, I will refer to the first guys as Alphas and latter as Betas, and consider the whole thing a Game.

Each comes with a particular set of dangers for the man who would do right. The Alpha can cause needless divisions among otherwise agreeable people, thoughtlessly seduce women, and corrupt men. Betas are at risk of being corrupted, envy, and malice towards women in general.

More that though: the Beta is at risk of continuing to be a Beta. It is foolish for a man to believe that a woman (who is not his wife and with whom he agrees) is on his side. She is either in total rebellion, simply surviving in the midst of the herd, or a follower of someone else. If a man finds himself thinking he’s on the same side of things, what he’s really noticing is that he is in enough agreement with her leader, or her current social group that she keeps him around. (The Alpha runs the risk of usurpation of her rightful leader.) He is a Beta orbiter. If a man spends enough time in the women’s quarters (and he’s not banging the women, in which case he would be a prostitute) at some point he stops being a visitors, and he has become a well-behaved social eunuch.

Except he’s not going to like being made a eunuch, and at some point he’s going to have had enough–which is when the Beta is going to have a Beta explosion, and say some shit about being ready to divorce with Go Bags; how all women will ultimately betray all men; how they are all waiting to do evil to all good men (as Betas believe themselves to be) and good to evil men (as all Betas believe Alphas to be)–evil men the Beta wants to codify and learn from.

In other words: The Whispers get to the Beta, and he gets corrupted into not only accepting the Alpha fucks and Beta bucks paradigm as a truth about the nature of sin, but into reacting like the sort of woman that exemplifies the paradigm he so detests. He becomes a man who hates what he wants, and wants what he hates.

13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

It becomes a sort of intellectual cuckoldry** for the Beta to wish to be the man that the sin nature of his wife wants to spend time with; he has gone too far and accepted what he should not. Adultery and cuckoldry are such noxious a sins because they are the very picture of the idolatry shown in Genesis 3: the consumption and bearing of disordered fruit from an illegitimate authority.

Our Lord truly is Lord of all, including evil. He can take even that and have good come from it. If we are His servants we should do likewise. Sometimes that means making sons and daughters of cuckoos (as has been done for all who were born in sin but now live in Christ), and sometimes that means not putting yourself or others in a position to create more of them. Say, by spouting foolishness on a blog (because you wanted to connect with, impress upon, or deride a woman) for the sake of what you happen to like, or agree with. (By the way: I’m still not talking about sex, per se.)

Some men are so worried about being betrayed in their home life, that they get online to practice for it. Some women are crying out to help them. Nearly none of them will realize who is who until it’s too late. This is especially true of Christians, just as it was more true of the Jews in the Old Testament. We should not be ignorant. Know the truth, repent, and be transformed before the harvest. The scythes are coming.

* “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

** To some that term is going to sound too harsh, and it will lead them astray by thinking I’m making a mountain out of a molehill.  In reality, cuckoldry is one of many similar disorders that is caused by sin in sexual relations. Bastardy is obviously related, as is adultery, and fornication, incest, homosexuality, bestiality…the whole of Leviticus 18. All these terms describe disordered relations of people, and one is not much better than another. And they are related. It matters that immediately following in Leviticus 19 is concerned with keeping sacrifices (our actions) to the Lord holy, and to love our neighbors, and treat them fairly. The transgressions of these are the very things that lead to the wreckage we read of in Hosea; a wreckage that looks horrifyingly similar to the Church in Western Civilization. We can be in agreement and like each other all we want. If we do not make submission to the legitimate Authority first and foremost: we’re going to live abominable lives.

Paternity and Bats in Oz (Updated)

The Orthosphere is hosting an open discussion on the wisdom of “the appropriate reactionary position on paternity testing”.

I’m not a reactionary, so I won’t participate directly in the discussion, but the premise of looking for a reactionary position strikes me as at least partially wrong-headed. We ought to be looking for the correct position. There were no paternity tests in the good old days. Does this mean they had no concern about paternity once the deed was done did? I strongly doubt it.

“Mothers are fonder of children than fathers because they are more sure they are their own.” ~Some Newbie

There were no firearms in yester-years, either, yet these are reactionary staples now. (There will be blasters in any future worth living in, and I will trump these so-called “progressives” right now by laying a claim on their right and good use.) What’s my verdict? Don’t make a law about it, but paternity testing is a damn good thing to have widely and inexpensively available.

The comments are pretty interesting, from a sexual dynamics perspective. The commenters mostly appear to be men, and they are judicious in their approach (told you: I’m not one of them), laying out the pros and the cons of what effect of instituting such a change would be. Their comments are fraught with concern, and considerations; most eventually settling on the fact that the truth of paternity is too disturbing to entrust with normal folks.

Among these master debaters there are two mistress debaters (that I can tell), and they’re both of the opinion that no-way, no-how, not ever should paternity testing interrupt the sorceress and her business of running Oz.

It’s like the turn of the Century all over again. Carrie Nation is still enthralled with hafted weapons

“Good grief. Are we seriously fretting about the paternity rights of the interloper? Why don’t we just leave him alone with the man he wronged carrying a baseball bat, like in the good ole days?”

while Susan B. Anthony is doing her damnedest to make sure we don’t lose perspective of how women have it worse, so make it fair now:

“Wow, cockoldry worse than rape? You need to fund [sic] a sense of self before you hurt someone.”

Which was said to a man. Presumably his sense of self would be better off if it maintained its masculine bent as that’s what the good Lord gave him. No doubt she thinks she knows better. No doubt that’s the bloody problem with Oz. Let’s hope he fares better than our forefathers.

To go back to Carrie for a minute: What in the world makes her think that this forest showdown is going to go well? The bastard father is more likely to be someone like me than some poor Herb. Not only is it likely that the interloper is more physically manly, but If I’m a bastard who spawns bastards: I’m a cheater. I take advantage. Wishing for Herb to meet someone like me in the woods is to sentence him to death on Hera’s altar. It’s not fair, but my bat is bigger, and I swing it better. That’s how we got to the forest.

Through the whole suffragette movement discussion there, there is this underlying theme that children belong to the father; with which I’m in whole-hearted agreement. If this were as true in practice as sentiment it would mean no one gives a hoot what women think: Let the fathers test or not. In actuality, it becomes a hand-wringing rout by airy monkeys:

“Why does the husband’s obligation to support his wife and children disappear when it is revealed that she is a crappy wife? Why does the husband’s obligation to love his wife as Christ loves the Church disappear when it is revealed that his wife [has cuckolded him]?”

Our Lord Christ gave us exactly one directive for when it can be considered appropriate for men to separate what God has brought together, and that monkey can’t even stick to that. PA-thetic. It’s not a command to divorce, but let’s not go crazy the other way, either. His book calls Joseph a just man while looking to put Mary away quietly; wrong though Joseph was on the nature of Mary’s situation. I submit that–barring a visit from the Almighty–a man who’s wife has cuckolded him is no sinner to put her away, and paternity testing is not anymore trust-breaking than to check the name on the wristband before taking the baby from the hospital.

Update: The monkeys have it by a vote of all to two, I think. It could be one. I want to highlight and respond to a bunch of comments there, but it would be a mess of Cane all over that page, and if he had any sense he’d delete them…which would cause me to lose the serene and graceful pose you’ve all come to love about me. Instead, I’ll respond here.

alcestiseshtemoa said:It’s not reactionaries. It’s mostly chivalry, white knighting and Anglo Puritan/Victorian/New England mores who support this [keeping cuckolded husbands in the dark].

One of the two sensible ones; a female, to boot.

Vanessa said: “There are plenty of women out there caring for their husband’s illegitimate progeny, including some that I know personally, so sometimes life throws you lemons and you have to put on your big kid undies.”

None of whom were in the dark about the parentage of those children. It’s easy to put on your big kid undies when you’re treated like an adult, instead of a harlot’s mule. Also: a truly awful mixed metaphor.

alcestiseshtemoa said: “Doesn’t this kind of turn around the sex dynamics? Instead of a man and a woman being a collaborative unit, with the woman serving the man, the man listening to the woman, and both serving the triune God, instead the man serves the woman?”

Ding! Ding! Ding! Was there ever another plan?

There’s some fascinating comments among alcest(?) and Vanessa, but not really between them. The latter sideswipes the former as a unbeknown modernist. The latter slaps back that it’s actually the modernists who are quick to throw down the modernist label as cover, but it’s in an unrelated comment. Those two should really talk more.

anonymous said: “A righteous wife would proactively VOLUNTEER for paternity testing of her children. She’d GLADLY prove her love and fidelity by giving the gift of certainty to her husband.”

Whoa, there. Let’s not get crazy. I would have been weirded out if Mrs. Caldo gave me a paternity result for my birthday. One might get the idea she has something to prove besides love. As a sentiment, this is a misfire. BUT, there is a redeeming quality to it as it provoked the chain of thought below.

Vanessa replied: “Men never really lose the habit of saying “if you loved me, you would do it”, do they? Gosh, how many times have I heard it, and how unloving was the man for uttering it?”

In our defense, it has a fine pedigree. I’m not sure it’s a habit to be lost–though less corruption of it would be a very good thing. As to the second question: I’m sure if she can’t remember then no one else can possibly know.

anonymous retorts: “That’s a seduction line used by would-be fornicators. I never uttered it, not even once, in that or any other context. No habit to “lose”. And in case you missed it, that post said, “A righteous wife would proactively VOLUNTEER….”

Yikes. No and no and no.

Vanessa finishes: “I wouldn’t volunteer and I’d be absolutely horrified if my husband ever demanded it. I also don’t read his emails and follow him around town in a dark car.”

Not sharing virtual accounts is nuts in a world where the virtual is real. I think it says something that the first is very easy to do with no intrusion or effort whatsoever (“Here’s my password. You might need it.”) and the other is difficult and wasteful. Seriously: Who has a dark car when white vehicles are cheaper?

Zippy (big fan here) said: “What could possibly go wrong with giving the liberal administrative state tissue samples of every living human?”

I still think this is specious. The original question was what should the reactionary principle be on paternity testing. There was no qualifier of government mandated–private companies would be perfectly acceptable. You could make the argument that private companies would be strong-armed into giving the info to the government, but in a world of IP addresses, SS numbers, online bank accounts, and drone strikes on American citizens: this worry is a foregone conclusion.

Proph, the fellow who wrote the OP comes down on the side of keeping fathers in the dark–for the children. Never mind the overarching principle that the children, wife–indeed the family–belongs to the father. No matter that the studies show that concern about paternity raises the chances from about 4% to about 30%.

One more bon mote… (stet)

John Khoo writes: “I think it worthy of consideration that God saw fit to give us a son of David as our Saviour, who wasn’t really descended from David.”

Yes, he was, as Steve Nicoloso spares me from pointing out. There is a TON that can be said about the blessing of adopting a child, even under such scurrilous circumstances as cuckoldry. There is nothing good to be said about bearing a false witness against your most intimate neighbor.

Stockholm Syndrome Blues

I have some follow-up news to my report of the Great Sunday Pancake Dust-Up that will be disturbing to many of you.

Tina has–totally unprompted–asked me to read the Bible with her. I said, “Of course.” She is excited.

Liz just brought in a bowl of potatoes that she had been asked to peel and dice, and then asked (grab your girdle, Martha!), “Are these enough?”

What an unjust world. Don’t these kids know what I’ve done to them???

By the way: If you do go back to read “Will You Eat With Me”, you’ll notice there is not a single “sir” uttered by Tina. This is unnatural and goes against all Caldo customs. It’s also a key to understanding why I apprehended the situation the way I did.

Will You Eat With Me?

Prelude: You’ll notice there is not a single “sir” uttered by Tina. This is unnatural and goes against all Caldo customs. It’s also a key to understanding why I apprehended the situation the way I did.

It was Sunday, and it had been decided that Liz would fix her family-famous pancakes for lunch. They were famous for one reason: Liz is a thoroughly lazy teenage, and pancakes were the one meal she had once cooked flawlessly. Otherwise what she bakes she burns, because the television is more important than the timer. Her food preparation is no better.

“Liz,” Mrs. Caldo might say, “peel some potatoes for dinner.”

“Elizabeth Caldo,” I say ten minutes later, “don’t let me find you on the couch.” which causes some scrambling from the couch to the kitchen.

“Liz,” Mrs. Caldo calls again, “Where are the potatoes?”

“They’re on the table.” she shouts from the couch.

“Liz, you only peeled three potatoes and there are six of us. What is wrong with you?”

“Well, you didn’t saaaay how many to cut up.”

There was the time that she prepared tater-tot casserole (a simple dish which is a layer of ground beef, a layer of green beans, a layer of cream of mushroom soup, and a top layer of tater-tots baked for 45 minutes) without the cream of mushroom. It is true that the soup is the thinnest layer, but look: dry ground beef and green beans makes for grim chewing. The cream of mushroom is what pulls it altogether. Plus she burned it.

However; there was the time when Mrs. Caldo and I were away, and, in an inexplicable flurry of activity, Liz whipped up a batch of flapjacks for the Caldo minors. Everyone was impressed, and surprised. It was back to this event that we hearkened this past Sunday. “Liz,” we said, “make us your famous pancakes.”

—————————————————————————————————————————–

“It’s lunch time, Daddy.”, the young ones called. We washed our hands and went to the table; smelling the bacon and coffee, and being very hungry. In walks Liz from the kitchen with a plate of nine four-inch pancakes for two adults, two might-as-well-be adults, and two kids who love pancakes.

“Elizabeth Caldo, what is wrong with you?” I barked.

“What?”

“How many of us are there?”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m asking the questions. How many of us are there?”

“Six…”

“Then why are you walking in here with nine tiny pancakes?” Her only reply was shellshock.

Tina, the oldest, misunderstood the nature of my challenge to her sister, and she flounced up from the table and–in her best angry martyr voice–said, “Phuuuuh! I’ll make some more!”

Mrs. Caldo expressed her exasperation. “No, Tina, sit down.”

Things are getting out of control pretty fast now, as far as I’m concerned, and the two alpha females are getting worked up.

“Christina! Sit down!”, I said. “Now, let’s say prayers!” My thinking was that if we could just get this lunch back on track we could lead Liz to sort out what she did wrong, but Tina really wanted my attention.

“Fine”, she hissed, and plopped back down in her chair. She tried to burn me with a pair of eyes that she had borrowed from her schoolmates; presumably it works on their parents. It was a stupid plan on Tina’s part.

“So, Liz, why am I upset with you?” As I asked this, someone tried to pass Tina the plate of shortcakes. With a haughty air she said, “No thank you!”, and sat with her arms folded, still trying to let me know she was REALLY angry at me. I had been attempting to let her get over herself, but the disgusted “No thank you!” drew my obligation.

“You are dismissed.”

“Fine.”, she said, and went into her room. I ate my one pancake, went to her room, opened the door, and said, “Do not touch my food until you can tell me what you did wrong, and apologize for it.”

“Fine.” It was about one o’clock.

Dinner was ready at six o’clock. In the interim Tina had stayed holed-up in her room, and called and cried and complained; to whom I had no idea, but there were several. Everyone else came to the table when dinner was called. I saw that her place had not been set. I asked Liz, “Where is Tina’s plate?”

“I thought she wasn’t eating.”

What, I wondered, have I done to deserve such faithless children?

“The rest of you sit down, say prayers, and eat.”, and they did, while I went to smoke a cigarette. Afterwards I went to our room and mused on what to do. All I knew for sure was that I could not eat until Tina did, and Tina could not eat until she repented. (Of course it was Mexican food night, too. Balderdash.) While I was thinking on these things, I heard Tina talking on her phone again–the iPhone I pay for (The iRony. Children can only rebel using what the Father provides.)–and she said something about being ready to go. Just then the house phone rang, and I knew who she’d been talking to.

We have a rule that we do not answer the phone during dinner, and despite the warfare Mrs. Caldo kept calm and carried on. It went to voicemail as I went into Tina and Liz’s room. Tina was sitting on her bed, glaring into her Bible. (My wonderful firstborn; stubborn as sin, but after my own heart.)

“Who was that?” It’s a good idea to start confrontations with questions to which you already know the answer.

“Grandma.” she blazed. Stoking the fires of self-righteousness for five hours will have that effect; Bible or no. Another chip off the old block.

“Do you think you’re leaving?” I knew this answer too.

“Daddy, I don’t want to live here anymore! You’re an emotional bully!” More school talk.

“No, you have a stiff-neck, and would rather be angry than admit you were wrong.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong!”

“Yes, you did. If you really don’t know, and if you had any sense, you’d have talked to your mother.”

“No, this is between you and me.”

Now, that stoked my anger. I stood from my repose against the door frame, stepped into the center of the room, and drew myself up to my own airy heights.

“Are we equals? Do you think to confront me man to man, CHILD?”

I want to stop here for a moment to make clear, dear readers, that I was not confronting just my daughter, but Legion; who she has contracted through school, movies, advertisements, and the rest of the propaganda machine that rules in America.

My phone rang. It was Mrs. Caldo’s father. I answered it in front of Tina.

“Yes.”

“Hey, listen: what’s going on over there? Tina says you’re not letting her eat.” I could hear the wind blowing by car windows.

“Tina can eat any time she wants. All she has to do is apologize.”

“You’re starving her?”, he asked incredulously, and ignorantly.

I answered with silence. Once, when I was younger, I had called him out in the front yard to whip his ass…and would have. He had the good sense to stay indoors. The neighbors still laugh about it every once in awhile, but it’s a mark of shame on my record. For my penance, whenever I conflict with him, I keep my mouth shut.

He tired of the quiet, and asked, “Well, look, is that all?”

“Yes.”

“All right. She sure is upset.”

“I’m aware.”

“All right then. Goodbye.”

I said nothing and hung up. To Tina I said, “That was your grandparents. They’re not coming.” Her face fell through the floor.

“Tina, do you know the story of Cain and Abel?”

“Well, yeah, but I’m not mad at Liz. You’re the one who’s being pissed off.” That was a bit of passive-aggressive daring on Tina’s part. “Pissed off” is a verboten phrase in the house…unless I say it, which is…uncommon. (Probably not uncommon enough.) It was an attempt to reframe the confrontation from one of her challenging my authority and her need of repentance, to one of general disagreement, i.e., “we just don’t get along”. Any woman can tell you there’s no need to fix a problem of “not getting along”. It told me that now she’s trying to fight to a stalemate. It also confirmed that she’d lost her damn mind in her inner heat. I ignored the rhetorical skirmish to win the battle.

I motioned to her Bible. “Go to Genesis 4, and start reading. I’ll tell you when to stop.”

Flustered by the sudden turn to the Bible (That was supposed to be her personal source of justification, and she could feel that I was about to flip the sword out of her hand.)

She mumbled:

4 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.

“Sounds like you, doesn’t it?”, I asked.

“Well, sort of.”

“Keep reading.”

She went on:

The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

“This is the path you’re on, Tina. Your sin, anger, is crouching at the door, and it will eat you up if you do not rule over it.” She started to cry.

“But I don’t know what I did wrong!”

“You got an attitude while I was correcting your sister. Then you made a big show of my rejection of your selfish offer to fix the problem..”

“I wasn’t being sel-”

“Yes, you were. You got all melodramatic, acting like a martyr. Don’t you think I could have ordered your sister to make more pancakes? I wanted her to figure out that her laziness and inattention to detail was what caused the problem; not the pancakes. You interfered with that, and in your ignorance and arrogance you derailed the whole process of her learning. On top of that, you got an attitude, and made a big show of defiance by refusing food.”

By this point, she was truly sobbing.

“Tina, you get so wrapped up in your own feelings that you don’t know what you’re doing…like saying ‘pissed off’.” She looked scared at my mention of her words, but I just continued. “This is why I’m always on your ass about keeping your head, and not getting corrupted by the self-esteem crap they feed you at school. Now you’ve gotten you’re grandparents involved, and are trying to move out. You realize that is a one way trip, don’t you?” My use of “ass” let her know that I would not hold her words against her without officially approving of what she said.

She grabbed me in a hug and said, “I’m sorry, Daddy. I don’t know why I keep doing this.”

“I forgive you.”

“I don’t know why I don’t learn.”

“Oh you’re learning. This is what learning feels like.”

We hugged for awhile, and she asked me, “How do you always know the right verses to read? It’s like magic.”

“By doing what you were doing when I came in. You read it, and you store it up for later use. Now go eat your dinner. When you’re done with that, call your grandparents and apologize; for all our sakes.”

“I will…Daddy?”

“What?”

“Will you eat with me?”