>photo © 2009 Mirko Tobias Schaefer | more info (via: Wylio)
Today I’m Thankful That I’m A Bad Dad
I’m not gonna lie to you: the thing I’m most known for at home, the thing that would be a running in-joke in our family if it weren’t so sad, is being in the bathroom. I’ve gotta confess: I use it for more than its lovely decor—it’s my office, my personal time, my quiet repose. I think, I write, I daydream, I checkout. (“Where’s dad?” “In the bathroom—again!”). I guess a lot of guys use the throne as second office, but it’s really been my Camp David—just not in an occasional kind of way. During the day, I do customer service—I’m always on. So it’s hard when I get home, the kids get loud, things need doing, and I need to engage. I’m usually wiped. I’m introvert, but have adapted in the workaday world to a sort of functional extroversion. I engage, explain, can usually make people laugh, but it takes a toll. I’m not sure my family understands, but I do take the need to recharge overboard. (I guess I would just ask for your prayers—that I could find the balance between meeting my family’s needs and my own).
Yesterday morning, my son and I went for a bike ride. Short though it was—I had to get to work—it was glorious. It felt good, after putting him off for 3 days, to finally hit the sidewalk and pedal away. I know he’d been feeling disappointed with me (“Mom, dad never keeps his word. He promised me a bike ride on Saturday”) lately (to be honest, it’s not just lately). I tried to turn it into a lesson about handling life’s little disappointments, but he’s right: I don’t keep my word—not where, and when, it counts. I can’t believe he’s twelve, and I still have a hard time seeing how central I am to his life. I grew up differently, did my own thing—because my dad wasn’t there. That’s not slam, just a sad fact. And here I am repeating the same cycle. Of the things I’m most thankful for this year is the chance to turn this around, to rectify my relational deficiencies. With my son, my daughter, and my wife. Today, I’m thankful that I’m a bad dad, because I have a chance to change.
Thanks for reading, and for your comments—they’re very encouraging! What are you thankful for this year?