I wrote this post (Again for the First Time, the Third Time Around) originally about a year ago just days after the birth of my third son. I wanted to take a few moments and reflect on and be reminded of what it means to be a dad and a husband. What you will find below is what I think it means to be a dad. I watched Iron Man 2 this evening with my two oldest boys. Towards the end of the movie Tony is watching old film reels of his dad. His dad remarks that Tony always has been and always will be his greatest creation. Tony, of course, didn’t learn this until 20 years after his father’s death. I think that is way too late for a child to have learned that. As fathers, we must live everyday with a sense that each day with our children is an incredible gift from God. No other time will we have the lives and futures of people in our hands quite like with our children. Being a dad has taught me immeasurably about God and his love. Being a dad has taught me patience, love, kindness, how to have fun again and where to find the monster spray (mommy’s perfume, it turns out is great monster spray). Sure, being a dad is hard… read below and you will see my resume is full mistakes and screw ups. But it is also full of reward. Seeing my boys do things for the first time is a special treat that can’t be put into words. Watching them learn and grow is incredible. Answering the simplest and most pure questions about God and life. The endless ‘why?’ Being a dad is special… it might just be the most significant thing I ever do. Enjoy my journey.
Here it is May 11th, 2010. I now have 3 boys. My family has expanded and things are going pretty good overall. I can’t complain, with reason or certainty. Now that I have three boys and a family that has expanded in this way I now realize the joy and excitement that I feel like I could see on my friend Jim’s face. I consider him to be family man of envy. Yes, envy is a sin… But it is more like the family man I wished I could be, hoped I could be… but was never sure that I actually would be.
As I think about it, being a family man, and there by proxy a father, is bringing me a sense of joy and excitement that I haven’t felt in a very long, long time. Last week I posted that I felt like a new dad all over again. When we were pregnant with Noah and he was born there was an incredible amount of excitement and newness to the whole process. Noah was an adventure and an addition to the family unlike anything that we had experienced previous to that. Between when Noah and Hayden were born something inside me changed. I became less excited, less motivated and nowhere near the dad that I could have been and should have been. It wasn’t Hayden per se, it was a second kid at a time in my life when I couldn’t emotionally and mentally handle it. It was the second kid. I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t even realize it for a very, very, very long time. Like last week. It occured to me that I had lost my sense of wonder and awe at being a dad, being a family man. On some level I knew that something was wrong… I would look at Jim and envy him for the way that his family made him complete. I didn’t have this… I was missing something… I was incomplete. My family was not something that I reveled in and was made complete by, it was something that I tolerated and put up with. My view of my family was that it was an inconvenience…
Reality is, that I have blessed with an awesome and overwhelming task to teach, guide and lead three little guys as they chase after and learn about God in a world that literally wants to destroy them. Our world is overrun with sin and is full of brokenness and confusion. Lucky for me, despite all the madness and faultiness that enveloped my mind and thinking the boys still saw me as the beginning and the end of the day for them. I’m not sure if this is God’s was of assisting in coming around or him allowing a sick punishment for the idiots that tolerate their families rather than love them above themselves. Either way, I’m the lucky one… cuz, they still love me.
Here’s the bottom line to all of this: I have a new bounce in my step and a sense of awe, wonder, excitement and joy that I haven’t had in quite some time. That sense of new ‘dadness’ I feel all over again. Despite the crazyness of life that is swirling around me, I have a renewed love and a second chance to be the dad and husband that my family deserves.