Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Unforgiven

I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan. I think he is one of the coolest, toughest leading men of all time. So when I was flipping channels on Sunday as the rest of my family napped I had to watch a little of the Unforgiven. It is probably my favorite western of all time. I was flipping back and forth between that and football, and Braden eventually woke up so I didn't get to see much of the movie. Even though TV time was cut short I thought of my favorite line in the movie and was inspired to write today's post.

In the closing gunfight one of the bad guys played by Gene Hackman says, "...You just shot an unarmed man!"

My hero Mr. Eastwood replies, "Well he should have armed himself..."

That is one of my favorite movie lines, but Sunday it didn't remind me of manly tough guy things. It made me think of my tiny unborn twins. It made me think about their arrival this summer. They will arrive with guns blazing.

Dirty diaper! Pow!

Hungry! Bang!

Wet Diaper! Boom!

I SAID HUNGRY! Bang!

They will be packing a double barrel shotgun full of ammo for me. And they won't care if I'm armed or not. You see in this analogy the twins are Clint Eastwood, and it is up to me to arm myself.

I can either be the unarmed man that goes down in a blaze of pooping, crying, sleepless glory. Or I can do my best to be prepared. I can arm myself with knowledge, patience, understanding, self control, and of course love.

How in the world can I prepare for the birth of twins? I don't really know that exactly. I figure it is like the birth of your first child all over again. Everything is new. Everything must be learned by first hand experience. After all no one in my family has twins. They can't give me advice.

I think the best way to arm myself is through daily prayer and self reflection. I have about six more months to figure out what improvements I need to make. Although much of my life I just barrelled ahead like everything I did was right, I have developed a strong belief in self reflection. Being married to a smart and caring woman has helped me tremendously in this area.

Everyone should regularly take the time to look at their life, how they behave, and how they react to others. By doing this I can easily see that I need to work on my patience. I need to continue my effort to be more selfless. I need to keep working on the idea that I am now, above all things, a husband and father.

I think arming myself with the knowledge that my sole purpose in life will be to care for my wife and three kids is the best thing I can do. Taking the time to wean myself off other pursuits that are really a waste of time is part of that. I have to learn to be more mindful of my time. I'll pray about it, and I'll work on it every day.

In the end I'm just thankful that, unlike the bad guys on the Unforgiven, I've been given enough warning of the gunfight to come that I have time to properly arm myself.

12 comments:

Brandy@YDK said...

you are pretty smart. you are going to wean yourself off now. I would go about it the opposite way - live it up until they came. lol.

love the clint eastwood comparison

@brandongilbert said...

I imagine that the ultrasound showing two little heartbeats would be quite a sobering moment. I think you're doing good in mentally preparing yourself...but you and your wife should definitely be taking some time for yourselves. As much as you lose time after the first one, with two more on the way, I imagine "alone time" for just you guys is about to become mythical like Bigfoot or an Arkansas National Championship (I'm sorry...that was terrible of me, but I couldn't resist).

Seriously though, my wife and I will keep you guys in our prayers, because we know you'll need it.

Katherine said...

Wow, there's a gun theme going around these days. It's a good analogy, and I do like that movie.

I think we could all benefit from more self reflection. I know I need to work on patience. My husband is very quick to say, "Calm down, he's not doing it on purpose." And I need to become more selfless.

I think these are probably things many of us parents struggle with, but it is so wise of you to look at it now. I'd be more like Brandy....live it up and hope for the best!

Always Home and Uncool said...

You sound far more prepared for twins than most are for singles. Now take aim ...

Otter Thomas said...

@Uncool and all: I am a bit uncomfortable receiving praise because I am by no means ready for twins. I am just aware of my unreadiness. I am hoping that is a good place to start.

Brian Miller said...

great analogy and yeah you better start preparing...

James (SeattleDad) said...

Love that movie, and love this post. Very well written man. And yes, you best be arming yourself. But you know what? It's always the cool sheriff who singlehandedly takes on the gang with all the fire power and emerges the conquering hero.

Jared Karol said...

I remember going through this same thing during my wife's twin pregnancy. It's good to be mentally prepared and get yourself in the right frame of mind like you're doing. I can tell by your vibe that you'll do just fine. I've made it through two years now (next Wednesday) and I've survived. . . mostly. . . :)

Keith Wilcox said...

I am a twin. My mom tells me that once you get past the shock and settle into it, it's not that bad. There, now doesn't that put your mind at ease? Hmmm, well, it was worth a shot :-)

SurprisedMom said...

I believe you, Arica and Braden make a great team and those twins will be born into a family filled with love. That will be the best start for those babies. You are doing what you can at this point. The fact that you are actively thinking about their birth, your inner self, and doing what you can to make yourself a better man, husband and father is a plus for all of you and I'm impressed by it. I really believe you'll be fine. So will Arica, Braden and the twins.

Tom said...

I picture you standing at the end of a dusty street, diaper bag slung over one shoulder, tubes of Desitin holstered at your side, belts studded with bottles crossing your chest, your eyes narrowed and your hands flexing as you ready to take on a couple of loaded diapers.

You're smart to get yourself prepared mentally and logistically. And catch up on sleep, too, as much as possible.

PJ Mullen said...

Fantasic analogy, but I think you are much more prepared than you believe or are leading on.