So much has changed in the Forty plus years I can account for. Things once unheard of are now the stuff of everyday life. TV’s have color and I have kids. They ride in an SUV watching DVDs on the LCD TV wearing wireless IF headphones while I listen to cable TV. Did I mention cable TV? Oh well, they watch as I listening to my favorite cable TV station on my satellite radio which doesn’t fade out as we blast about our family busyness down the backwoods and back roads of our Blue Ridge mountain home.
I often wonder how my dear old snuff dipping; bonnet wearing Brethren Grandmother would relate to our twenty-first century life. I especially wonder what she would think of the Quads. Did I mention we have a set of Quads? I sometimes get a bit lost in all the commotion and repeat myself. Yep we have two wonderful daughters currently aged 12 and 9 and a set of 3year-old Quadruplets.
Our family does not fit your average demographics in nearly any measure you use. Of course we have the six children in three pregnancies. My wife besides being a gold medal mother is also a very successful entrepreneur. All this has led me to be the domestic dad to six. None of which were on our goals list when we did our pre-marital counseling. When asked I prefer the title “Quadfather”. Just how Granny would do with all this interests me because of the varied reactions and odd comments I have encountered from others over the past few years. Granny would be heartened to find that we have stuck close to the Faith. Not the Brethren faith but more of the Inter-denominational, new Apostolic- Reformational, you- don’t- need- a- suit- and- tie, beard or bonnet, Spirit-filled Christianity. Then again this and our African–American Pastor could do more to swamp her born in the eighteenth-century boat than all the other changes combined.
Yes things have changed. I feel fortunate to have been born deep enough back into the 1900’s to have seen the old folks and old ways. Yet still to be young enough to be shoulder deep in my kid’s formative and most unique era.
I will never forget my Granny forcefully asserting that the first Moon Walks were staged in Hollywood back when I was formative and the 69 mustang was a new ride. Nor will I forget the times she lost herself in the titanic struggle of good and evil to be found on the TV Wrasslin and would insist with equal ferocity that these events were real and important for our personal sanctity and national well being.
Perhaps Granny did have a hard time with the changing times around her but I do know she had a firm grasp on the real stuff, the serious truth and importance of God and Family and the need to make them the priority and keep them together.
Granny was a stop gap blessing in my life. By the time I was fourteen my mom had two divorces and a nervous break down. About 40% of my growing up was done in a single mother household with Granny at home. My other Grandmother was similarly raising several of her Grandchildren. Both were widowed before I could walk and I never had a close or long lasting father/son relationship during any of this period. I guess in many unfortunate ways our family was ahead of our times. But Granny hung in there trying to impart by deed and word to me these two important fundamental truths along with other insights that today are wry remembrances about herbs and roots, phases of the moon, planting and the struggle to purge evil from our shore through TV Wrasslin.
I would have loved to see Granny’s reaction to much of the technological and unique dynamics of our time and special family. I can not help but believe she would see and understand how the two most serious truths are very much a part of the fabric of this family. They are what matter. They are the tradition we have embraced and will not lose hold of.
It has been these very challenges and unusual twists the Lord has seen fit to inject into our lives that have served most to remind me of what I had missed . In remembering I can see and appreciate what Granny was trying to insert so long ago in the confusion and isolation of a broken, blended and re-broken childhood. In this process and between many long nights and endless diaper changes, I have been afforded the opportunity to be the type of dad I never had.
In bringing me to the choice of being a dad on a scale here to unheard of, I have found a loving and benevolent Father bringing about healing and restoration that I had not realized was needed in my life. Though some may think we are out of order or to be even pitied. As all some seem to see are commitments and expenses that would lower their lifestyles, limit their entertainment opportunities and brings challenges to their perceptions about Christian family life. I believe I have seen the miraculous and that I have heard the solid steady heart beat of The Father in two things, priorities and in order, God and Family. Not roles or religion, vicarious fulfillment, expectations of tradition or self-realization and satisfaction. All of which seem to haunt so much of my generation as we have become “The Parents”.
This series, if it ever sees the light of day is my prayerful effort to share into this parenting world of broken, blended, re-broken, single and wounded families the healing, purpose and encouragement that seasons can seem hard and dark but they change, and that we can find our greatest insight and understanding of God’s direction and faithfulness changing us and impacting through us into the lives of the little ones that follow along after us. In our hard walked seasons as they toddle towards their appointments with adult destiny beside us, we miss much we might never recover if our focus is on ourselves, the hard ships or on what or how well others are doing or a nagging neurotic sense of perfection and performance. Seasons change, we must embrace each one. Technologies change, people change, age, grow and go but God, His Faithfulness to each generation and His Fathers’ heart never have and never will change or leave us . We best imitate its beating in our priority and commitment to the loving families we create, cherish and nurture.
Embrace with me if you will, the amusement, bemusement and encouragements found on my road less traveled. I believe you might find much there you recognize even if you’re not a Quadfather
Mr. Poff is a native of Salem, Virginia. Where he worked in the local radio and television industry during the 80's and 90's. He is currently the at home father of Quadruplets and is working on his Masters in Theology. During his spare time. He enjoys time with his wife of fourteen years Pam on their small farm in Sedalia in Bedford County along with their six Children, eight horses, six dogs, six cats one Cockatiel and a Guinea Pig named Nibbles. Small groups, Bible studies, Mentoring young couples and writing are his outlets and growing passions.