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Of Being Dad

No one said it would be easy. Being a father is a fantastic thing. One of my best friends once told me, "you’re not a real man until you have children" and I, childless at the time, thought he was being a little to narrow in his definition. I get what he was saying now. I could write a dissertation off his simple statement. However, for the moment, suffice it to say that children grow you as a person. Unfortunately, it seems this growth takes about 20 years which is probably part of why grandparents are so much better with children than parents; aside from the fact that "the kids go home."

Sometimes, your word choices don’t match your actions. You feel stupid as you lose your temper with a child and shout, "quit being so angry!" or something akin to that. But it happens. And you paint yourself into a corner. You start down a path and almost as the words roll off your tongue your argument with/discipline of the child becomes about "how do I back out of this?!" Words can be like knives. Word choices can inflict as much pain and damage as physical abuse. As parents, it is important that we truly think before we speak or act. And perhaps, before giving that child a timeout, we should give ourselves one first. This morning, overtired and with a head cold but without an excuse, I should have given myself a timeout and didn’t.

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