When they’re young, how do our children see us? When I look at my kids, I am in awe of the love that I feel emanating back from them. When you think about it, we are their world. They look at us for guidance and leadership. They trust that we will never let them down or hurt them in anyway. When I see the love in their eyes, I’m in awe. It’s a feeling that you can actually sense radiating from them. The term “unconditional love” doesn’t even begin to describe it. I have no idea what to call the way that they must see us, but that’s ok. I think a label would only cheapen it anyway.
Every day, I’m amazed by their love. When they wake up in the morning, the first thing they want to do is crawl into our laps and cuddle. When we leave to run some errands, they always want to go with. Even when we have to punish them, they don’t hold a grudge. Within 30 minutes, they are back. They want to play Candy Land with us not because they like the game, but because they want to play with us. They want us to be down on the floor and in their world. As much as we may want them to play by themselves for an hour, all they want is to be next to us.
Think about that for a minute. Think about the love that small person has for you. They don’t love you because of how you look or what you drive. They don’t care about what kind of car you drive or if your hair is grey. They simply love you because you are thier parent. That’s it!
Think about the trust. They don’t care how many mistakes you’ve made. They don’t know how many times you’ve failed over the years. They know, without a doubt, that you will do the right thing. They believe, to their core, that you will take care of them.
Wow… How do you live up to that? How do you even come close to being the person that they think you are? How do you become infallible? How do you pick that child up, look him or her in the eye, and say, “Yes, I am your daddy.” How…
If you’ve read this far thinking that I have the answer, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I’m just like everybody else. I’ve failed many times. I have made plenty of mistakes. I haven’t always been a good person. I’m as lost as you are. I can only tell you what I do.
I try to be the person that they think I am. I try to be a good enough father to deserve that love that they show. I try to earn that trust that they give me. What else can I do? There’s no magical elixer that will make me a good father. It’s hard work, and it’s often painful.
I still make mistakes all the time. There’s no way that I am the person that they think I am, but I’m trying. I doubt that I will ever become that great, but hopefully, I’m a little bit closer today than I was yesterday. Maybe, I’ll be even closer tomorrow, or maybe there will be a set back. Either way, I have to keep trying.
After all, what else can a guy do….