Let’s face it. Things are not as easy as we want them to be. I want to take my kids to the baseball game, but I have to make sure they have sunscreen on, water bottles prepped, a blanket, a chair, enough snacks or enough money to pay for snacks, and so on. It’s not like the “glory days” of college when I could simply wander down to the ballpark in the middle of the day just to catch the third inning on. Oh, and I didn’t care about sunscreen, because I didn’t have to.
There are days as a father that I feel like a failure. Where my meager attempts at parenting not only fall short, but never begin. I scold, I ignore, I am complacent, I am lenient, I long for bedtime. These are my valleys hidden in fog.
There are days that I feel like Superman or Gandalf. I make breakfast, I discipline in love, I bring peace and joy and laughter, I tell stories, I spend time with each child. These are my mountaintops, cloudless, thin-aired joy.
Most days I battle the in-between. The liminal space between the mountaintop and the valley. The days when I get up slowly and drink my coffee in a stupor. When I work well and hard and the paperwork at my office desk dwindles. When I am genuinely relieved to be home with my family. When I snap at my son or daughter, but apologize and wrap them in a bear hug. When I know I should read my bible, but it’s late and SportsCenter is on. When I am given five blessed minutes of silence where my spirit cries out and I listen. When my head hits the pillow and I can say with joy that I spent the energy I had on things that I loved.
I may not have fought with Superman’s perfection, but I gave it my Mr. Incredible best.