“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise…” Ps 18: 2
We learn a lot from our children. One of my daughters walked out of the room while we were watching an Auburn football game telling me as she left, “you’re no fun to watch a football game with.” One told me I shouldn’t drink alcoholic beverages. Funny; I thought I was the one that was supposed to be teaching them how to behave and how to discern right from wrong. And we attempt to do that, but when our own actions don’t align with our teaching we have problems. As the old saying goes “what you are doing is so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
Casting Crowns’ song “Slow Fade” says “be careful little feet where you go, for it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow.” Even at our best, the sharp eyes of our children can easily spot discrepancies between our actions and our words. I have learned a lot from Katie and Rachel and am still learning today. It’s different since they are now adults themselves. And certainly I was ashamed that my own child didn’t want to watch a football game with me; but when I have hurt one of them as an adult, it cuts me to the bone. Their lives are hard enough, busy enough and stressful enough without me adding any more problems for them. I try to just sit back, observe and learn, but sometimes I still seem to blurt out something and immediately wish I hadn’t. The only thing left to do is own it and apologize.
Children can and do help develop traits like patience, tolerance, and forgiveness. Parenting isn’t always fun and it is never easy; but it is by far the most rewarding experience that I’ve ever had. When memories of the hard times surface I only have to look at my beautiful, grown, adult women and the lives they have built with their own families and those memories just melt away.
I’m happy to report I can now watch a football game with my daughters; we may not always enjoy the game, but we enjoy being together. In fact, one of my favorite photos, even though it’s a few years old now, is the girls at Jordan Hare Stadium.
I love you girls and thanks for the memories and the lessons.