Typically I view myself as a ‘decent’ dad. I’m no fool. I’m also not ignorant. When I hear people give me accolades as a ‘good dad’ I enjoy hearing it – that’s the self-absorbed ego-driven portion of me. …But I only bask in the faux glow of envy for a second or two. It isn’t uncommon for me to then have a quiet moment of clarity where I remind myself silently that I’m not really that good, even though I’d like to be.
So when people tell me how great I am, I know without a doubt, I’m not great, I’m occasionally good, often decent, and even now and then I’m a terrible dad.
How many stories have I read about the formation of children’s minds where the author makes a point to impress upon the reader that reading to your child is a huge contributor to their future success as well as the formation of their ethics (depending on the content you provide)? I have the best of intentions. Yet, I don’t read to my son nearly as often as I should. I even buy special books just for us to use together, few of which I read to him.
Thus far in this post, if you’re a parent or have those instincts, you have been picturing in your mind a dad with his child curled up on their bed or maybe eased back in the recliner with a story book. Have you not? Well, in this case that assumes more than it should. In order to adhere to that picturesque bonding bliss, you’d need a dad to read and speak aloud the words of the book. The other half of the equation you ask? …A son who can hear the words you’re putting forth.
He’s only 5, and my son’s hearing continues to degrade.
He’s got a hearing aid in one ear for “significant” hearing loss and he may need one in the other now. Yes, you’re right, if you’re wondering if I’m writing this post under duress, because I am. I’m grappling with the idea of two things. One I can lament about, the other I can eventually accept. First, I’m really pissed at myself because I haven’t done more with my son in the precious little time I’ve been given with him. Secondly, I have to wrap my mind around the stark and glaring fact I have friends and family missing their children because they’re GONE. Even a deaf son is a live and well son in the grand scheme of things. Would my dear friends have their daughter back from the dead with the small trade off of her being absent the gift of hearing? Yes. They would. …And they wouldn’t hesitate to accept that bargain from God. A blink wouldn’t transpire before that accord could be cast in stone by mutually agreed parties.
I need to search scripture for help here. I need to pray for my son and for the strength he needs from me and mommy to help him with his needs. I am so ashamed at my hubris. I need to be better than this. So I shall.
No matter what I think or like or dislike, I have to accept God’s will for my son, especially when I don’t care to. This is easy for me to talk about. It comes naturally for me to write about. But walking the walk is a lot harder for me than talking the talk.
Lord look over my boy please. May I recognize and take Your queues when You offer them. May I glorify You through the actions I have available to me in the making of good choices and acting as an example rightly. Help me freely accept Your will. May I improve as a father. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen…