In the past three days, I’ve experienced three facets of parenting…

Sometimes they bring you joy…

As I came around the corner from raking leaves, I noticed Liam kicking the soccer ball around by himself. I decided to forsake all thing yard work related and kick the ball around with him. As we passed the ball back and forth, he asked me all sorts of questions about when I played soccer growing up.

In the back of my mind, I had this sence of joy: this is what it means to be a dad. Kicking the ball around with your kids and enjoying the everyday moments together.

Sometimes they can frustrate you…

Liam doesn’t quite realize the power he has over his little sisters. They will do anything he asks them to do, even if it might mean they might break their favorite Nutcracker toy. I grew weary as this is a regular conversation we’ve been having lately.

As we fixed the broken nutcracker, Jenna and I talked with him once again about his responsibility as a big brother. I thought to myself, this is what it means to be a dad. Moments of helping your kids understand their role as friends and siblings.

And sometimes they melt your heart…

This morning Liam gave Elli a small box with some of his own Legos and a coupon worth 26 Lego playtimes with him, plus a bonus of 6 soccer games. He gave of himself from what he loves. She was so excited.

And I wondered, maybe this is parenting, sitting back and watching your kids act on what you hope you’ve instilled in them. Watching these moments in which they share their love for the people close to them.

 

Of course the truth is that all of these are what it means to parent. Each one is a moment to embrace. We can’t ignore the ones we don’t like infavor of the ones that bring us joy.

We pray hard and take each moment as it comes as one we’re meant to experience and use to help our family grow.

We walk alongside them and train them in the way they should go, giving them every opportunity to succeed.

We hope that the wisdom we impart is actually wise.

And we trust that God will meet us and fill in the gaps, which of course he will do and for which we will be eternally thankful.

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