Have you ever been there? You’re going through your day happily enough and then you come home and encounter the little creatures that normally engender your warmest affections. But tonight they’re not the cute little Gizmo. Someone has fed them after midnight and they’ve morphed into gremlins. Into everything. Whining incessantly about everything. Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, DAAAAAAAAAADYYYYYYYYYYYY!
And I snapped.
Not in the crazy, violent, go straight to jail do not pass go sort of way. Just in my patience. I was harsher than reasonable. My tone was intense. My 2 year old hit me in the eye with a dinosaur that he threw (after we’ve told him a million times not to throw things). I slapped his hand. Again, nothing criminal. But I did it because I was angry, not because I was trying to help my son learn it isn’t o.k. to throw.
So I apologized – to both of them.
We talked and I admitted that I was wrong. I told them I was very sorry and asked their forgiveness. Logan seemed especially appreciative of the apology. He smiled and gave me a big hug…then blew on me. (It’s a bedtime game we play. He blows on me and I act like it knocks me down. Lots of fun!) Caleb just said while rubbing his eyes, “Yes, daddy. I love you.” Ugh. My heart melts and my soul is convicted again.
Parenting isn’t about having all the answers or doing it all right. In fact, I’m not sure I have the “right” answer for what parenting is all about. But what I do know is that my kids keep reminding me that I’m not perfect and that grace is there to cover my sins. They remind me of the purity of a child’s love and why it’s so, SO important for me to have love like that for the people in my life. They just accept that I love them and that I want what’s best for them. Even when I make mistakes, they brush it off like sand from playing outside.
So here I am – thankful for my children. Amazed at the blessing and the struggle of being a dad. And feeling the weight of the responsibility they represent. But knowing that there’s nothing I want more than to step up to that challenge and own it. And, when I fall down on the job, my kids will be there to pick me up, give me the grace I need to get back up and do it right the next time.