Few moments compare to those occasions when your own children begin to show love back to you as a parent. Tonight, as Nicole and I were putting our two boys to bed, Ethan my five-year-old said, "I'm glad to have you as my daddy."
Those moments make the challenge and difficulty of parenting worthwhile. To know that he is recognizing how much I love him and responding to the love he is being given by returning that same love is gratifying.
It reminds of me of a time this year when Ethan came home from school, walked up to me and said, "Oh, dad, I brought you something. I had Chick-fil-A today at school and I don't like the brownies and I knew you like them so I brought you mine." I thought that was so cool because he had thought about me. It showed consideration on his part. His ability to think of someone else and do something nice for them was very encouraging.
Encouraging because for the first few years of their lives kids seem like vacuums. If you have love, they need it; they'll suck it up. If you have time, they need it; they'll soak it in. If you have energy, they need it; they'll suck it out of you. But when they hit the point where they begin to give back you finally begin to feel that they are learning to be unselfish.
Every once in a while I need some small incident like this to spur me on, to motivate me to continue my focus on fatherhood. Life is draining, especially parenting. But thank God He gives us these little moments that breathe life back into our weary lungs, giving us the strength to give all we can to the precious children He's put under our care.
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