My home is my Castle, in many traditional senses of what a Castle represents. My Castle stands as a means of protection from the outside world for my family. Our Castle is intended to be the one place where they could recharge, recover, and gain the physical and mental strength to go back out and battle life’s dragons (the world).

Inside our Castle, our kids are able to grow, learn, and make mistakes, without the world’s critical eye.

It’s important for our kids to have a place where they can learn to recover from the mistakes that they make.

A place where they can learn that life doesn’t end with mistakes.

A place where they can learn how to recover from their mistakes; how to make things “right” and whole again.

A place where they know that someone (mom, dad, aunt, uncle, etc.) is on their side and wants to see them succeed.

A place where they always have someone that is cheering for them to get back up, dust off their knees, and keep running the race.

A place where the world looses its grip, and somehow the spirit found in the place gives them solace and peace.

A place where they can return, even as they grow up, where they will always get that feeling that they can bolster themselves up and head back into the world.

Please don’t confuse our Castle as a place where our kids can simply run to and hide from their mistakes and choices that were made from without the Castle walls. My kids were not allowed to just rain havoc on the world and then return to the Castle to bury their heads in their covers, in hopes that the King and Queen will just “fix things.” They were held accountable for their actions, sometimes a little too severely by the King (me), or a little too leniently by the Queen (my awesome wife).

Justice — the struggle is real.

This balance between their mother and I hopefully evened out in the end, though the older kids may have suffered a little more from our “parental experimenting,” and the younger kids benefitted from our “parental ninja-professionalism” in latter-years.

My older kids seemed to survive, and they still come around — though they may just like my homemade bread.

I guess you could say that the “proof is in the pudding (mmm…pudding).” I’m blessed to have kids that are doing well — each to their own path — and that return to the Castle to spend time with their parental units and their siblings.

Some of the best times in life now are when we are sitting around in the Great Hall (living room), grandkids racing back and forth, an occasional loud outburst piercing the air, and seeing our kids catching up with one another and telling stories of, “Do you remember when…”

These moments, just sitting and chilling (as the cool-knights call it, I think), give me the opportunity to sit in my Castle and survey these good Lords and Ladies. Better yet, my wife and I sit on our thrones (okay, it’s a loveseat) and take in the Royal Court of our heirs. Admittedly, it’s hard not to tear-up in looking over my beautiful brood. Luckily for me, in these heartfelt moments, I can blame it on the desert air — from the comfort and safety of my Castle.

King Rusty

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