Now I Just Feel Like a Terrible Parent

To be more precise, I feel like a terrible dad.

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I wrote yesterday about how being a parent sucks. And I stand by that. It does, for so many different reasons. One of them being that sometimes what you, the parent, think is the right thing to do turns out to be the exact opposite and is the worst thing you could do.

Well, maybe not the worst, but it is in that general area of things.

Yesterday was Sunday. Which means rushing around the house to leave so that we get to church before the service ends. Due to this rushing, Sunday mornings typically lead to conflict of somekind with Mozzie.

Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

One more thing to set the stage.

I have this thing about my things.

I have them in a certain place and don’t want them to be moved from that place unless I am the one doing the moving.

Mozzie, being a three year old boy who loves everything about life, thinks that my things are awesome (even if they are just books).

His feelings about my things, and my feelings about my things, do not mesh well.

So with the Sunday Morning Rush, and the Don’t Touch My Stuff attitude I have towards my nightstand, in mind…let’s proceed.

I jump out of the shower. Quickly get dressed, mold my hair, apply cologne and other things to produce a positive scent, and rush out of the bathroom into our bedroom…

My nightstand looks like it has been robbed.

The cabinet door is hanging open, and the drawer is pulled out.

My Field Notes notebooks are scattered on the floor. Not good. Don’t touch my Field Notes.

I look in the bottom cavity of the nightstand where I keep a few books and see that it is emptied entirely except for a few bed sheets.

I take a few deep breaths and walk out of the room.

Mozzie is in our family room with my books. He is lining them up on the coffee table, muttering something about a library.

I walk over, and without a single word, collect all of the books and walk away.

He bursts into tears and I tell him not to touch my things (number one), and (number two) that he needs to focus on getting his pants on so we can go to church.

Fast forward 10 hours or so.

I find out from my lovely wife that Mozzie wanted to play pretend library with me. Not only that, he rummages though my things because he wants to be like me. He doesn’t do it to disobey or be annoying, she said. He is just using his imagination.

Well.

Remove my stomach and toss it to the dogs.

Cut out my heart and stomp on it.

What an a**hole parent I am.

I felt terrible. And of course he was already in bed for the night, with burns on his hands from the stove incident earlier in the day.

So here’s what I plan to do: when he wakes up this morning I am going to apologize profusely for being the worst parent ever. I am also going to tell him he can go through my nightstand whenever he wants to (I may have removed a few things permanently that I don’t want him touching). And finally, I want to play pretend library with him before I leave for work this morning.

And the big take away for me, and maybe for you if you can relate to anything above, is to just freaking relax and gain some perspective about things before reacting. This is advice Lindsay gave me last night after telling me what Mozzie was really doing with the books.

She said, “Before you freak out, ask him what he is doing.”

Ok. Can do. And will do.

Now I just need to get my stomach and heart back.

If I Could Make Anyone in the World Stop Talking it Would be Me

Why? Because when my mouth is open my ears are shut. I would probably learn more in that 24 hour period than any other day of my life.

If I could make someone talk for 24 hours, it would be John MacArthur. I would prefer to have our 24 hour periods be the same so that I could learn from him for 24 hours. Could you imagine!?

What I Hope My Kids Will Say About Me When They are Adults

First. I don’t have kids, but I plan to. Probably, oh I don’t know, in the next couple of years or so.

So, as I do plan to have children and raise them into awesome adults, I hope that they say a few simple things about me as they look back on their years growing up and even as we spend time togehter as adults:

  1. He loved God
  2. He loved mom (my wife)
  3. He loved us (my children)
  4. He spent time with us, taught us useful things, and made us laugh
  5. His passions were/are learning and teaching

Quite simple, but that is what I hope. They are all rather cheesy, so I don’t need to delve into too many details on each item. I’m sure you get the idea. That is what I hope they say about me, and thus, that is how I hope to raise them (in a transparent manner, so that the above items are obvious to them).

I’m a Forty Thirty Thirty

Thinking about how I am the person I am is a difficult thing to ponder. I believe that a high number of me is made up of genetics. From my parents and their parents, and their parents. I probably have a little bit of my dad, a little bit of my mom, some of my late grandfather, and who knows what else from other closer relatives. I would say that maybe genetics is 40% of who I am.

Then, I think it is safe to split the remaining 60% into two parts. 30% of me has been shaped by things I have been exposed to. As a baby, toddler, child, and the pre-teen years. During those times I really had no say in life about anything, as is probably the case for most of us. We do what we are told, and don’t really ask questions. And honestly, those years are quite foggy for me, so who knows, maybe I smoked crack with my parents (just kidding. really. my mom reads this so that one is a light hearted joke). So 30% is things that I was subjected to.

The final 30% is things that I choose to do. The decisions we make during our teen years really begin to hold water and a lot of responsibility because, well, we are making decisions. Hopefully our parents step in when we are getting out of line with something, but for a lot of us, those years are years of learning how to make decisions. I would say that this part of our life is constantly changing and growing and improving (hopefully) as we age.

What do you think? How do you think you have been sliced and diced?