“If you, then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him.” Matthew 7:11
I came late to the show.
My wife and I waited several years before having a child. When he arrived, I am not so sure I was ready to be a father. I just knew it in my heart.
I had some selfish, career-centered, man-centered things to do and fitting fatherhood into my life was not in the picture in the early years of my experience of fatherhood (I don’t think my child knew that).
My wife did.
She was a superb mother. Still is. But during the early years, she shined with our son. I was not in the picture much but she was the stable, encouraging, loving person that formed my son in his early years. I look back on those years and see now that it would have been better for me to be more involved but I wasn’t. I was into myself. She did a magnificent job. She shined.
Then things changed.
I began to see that career was not number one in life. It never should have been. I fell for the siren song of achievement in this world and for a while in my life, I had to pay the price for this mistake.
Guess what was left after the love affair with work was over…a wonderful wife and a wonderful son.
Both eventually forgave me and got used to me being at home. I guess my presence spoke volumes.
I can now truly understand Matthew 7:11.
As Scott, my son, progressed through his high school years and college years, I began to bond with him. I spent my whole life with late teens and early twenty-somethings and I understood their angst, their desire to rebel and their desire to cling, the temptations of the peer group etc. I had many years of observing this behavior at work and had many conversations with young people going through this rough patch time of life.
I was prepared to help…finally.
And I did.
Late to the show.
I was in the car when he professed that his Mom and Dad were wise in getting him to go to college [wise enough to keep my mouth shut and not say I told you so]. I was there to bail him out as he learned the consequences of spending too much money he did not have [credit cards]. I was there when he took his first job in Atlanta, Georgia and doubted over and over the skills he had [trying to be everything but an artist]. I rode it out with him. I was also there when he “caught fire” and began to see himself as everyone else did, a wonderful creative person. I listened in on the conversations after he decided to go to grad school at one of the best art colleges in America. I was thrilled and wondered where had this drive come from?
Late to the show.
I am a father. Scott’s father. Proud father.
Being an educator, I have seen many parents over the years have what I call “my kid hung the moon syndrome.” I listen to them drone on and on about how wonderful their children are and I nod my head and say “yes, they are wonderful”. I am an infrequent facebook user and I go there and see posts of proud parents bragging on their wunderkind. That’s ok. I always tried to not fall into that trap.
But I have to post something about my love for Scott because it is real. I admire him. I would do anything for him. Every time he accomplishes something new, it thrills me.
He’s 30 now, married to an artist. He is living in Chicago, the windy city, the second city, chi-town, the city of broad shoulders. He is in the midst of a thriving arts community. He would like to live in a less populated place but he has a good job at the Art Institute. His wife is happy there and her art career is thriving and she is working at the Art Institute also.
He is supposed to visit us this summer and then we are slated to travel up north to spend some time with him in that city of broad shoulders. I look forward to seeing him, talking to him, finding out what he is thinking and what is going on in his life.
I know I am not the person I should be. I have moments when I fall short. We all do, but I love him and would do anything for him. I pray for him and his wife every day. “If you, then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him.”
Thank you my Father.