Sunday, March 25, 2012

My two sons

The responsibilities of being a father can be overwhelming. Nearly 1 in 3 children in America live apart from their fathers for a variety of reasons, but it must be conceded that often its because today's men aren't prepared or willing to face the task at hand.

Being a dad to boys is a different challenge all together. Don't get me wrong, I love my girls. I pamper them. I melt around them. Admittedly, they manipulate me daily and I love that they do. The sound of my girls saying, "Daddy" has a way of bringing me to my knees in submission. And I can't imagine that as they get older that will ever change. Ever.

I love my son. We are friends. We are partners in crimes around our house. We are football tossing & baseball throwing buddies. We play a pretty mean game of army. Much to his mother's chagrin, in so many ways we are exactly the same. My 7 year old son emulates so much of what I do and say that it often scares me. From expressions I use (ie, John-Brown-it, WORD, holla) to his uncanny ability to turn any situation into an excuse to dance. His constant joking, his love for sports, his uber-sensitive nature, his ability to cry at the drop of a hat. He is his father.

But despite the fact that we are so alike, my son sometimes must endure a rougher parenting style from me than his sisters receive. I tell him to shake off his injuries, to "man up" when something I think shouldn't bother him makes him upset. I push him harder and often times hold him to a standard that simply isn't fair for a growing 7 year old boy. Why? Perhaps I feel some additional responsibility to not only play with him and protect him, but also to train him. Train him to be a man, train him to lead. Perhaps I'm worried that if he is so much like me, he will grow up and become me...including all my deficiencies. Deep down I feel a burden to train him to be the man that I wish I was. To not make the same mistakes that his father has. But the more I reflect on it, this isn't a winning strategy to raise young men. Clearly my parenting style is like everyone else's: imperfect. I have done some great things as a dad and made even more mistakes than I care to admit along the way.

But tomorrow is a different day. Tomorrow is gotcha day. Tomorrow around 3AM Eastern time a woman who lives on the other side of the world will carry my youngest son into a room where I will be waiting. Waiting to hold him. Waiting to love him. Waiting to train him. A meeting planned before time, but just revealed to us. In a matter of moments, I will have two sons. Double the challenge. Double the responsibility. Double the mistakes?

God's expectations for my two sons isn't perfection. Why should their earthly father hold them to a higher standard than Abba? I pray that God gives me wisdom beyond my understanding as tomorrow I begin the journey as a father of four. May my decisions about my sons (and daughters) be guided by prayer and direction from the

Holy Spirit. That my own pride, selfishness and sin won't be a motiving factor in how I parent them.

These are my beloved sons. And with them I am well pleased. No matter what.


  1. I couldn't post on your recent post, so I am putting it on this one... I am SO HAPPY for you all!!! Judah is beautiful and so sweet looking!!! It really can be this good and last!!! Don't hold your breathe too long waiting for the bottom to fall out, it might not! Enjoy the ride!

  2. Forgot to tell you to remember to look in every nook of what he came with to see if the foster family sent you their contact info.... even the seams of his clothes, behind pictures, the soles of his shoes, etc....