Do we all have the same dream? The one where our child will stand in a place of honor or accomplishment and be escorted before a large microphone with an enormous crowd and they will say those words that have motivated us to clean every dirty diaper, clean up every puddle from a case of the flu, sit through every poorly made kids movie, painstakingly tackle every school project, embrace the years of becoming a full time driver and cook, yes those words. It is almost like I can see them in slow motion as my child forms each syllable…..I …W..A..N..T…. T..O…. T…H..A…N…K… M..Y… M..O..M.mmmmm!
Why do I always do all the work? I know at first glance those sound like fighting words coming from my husband to me one afternoon. All the work? Really? He went on to explain. He was the one who went through a special thirty day devotional preceding my daughters 13th birthday. He was the one tasked with taking a gift by the kids to school or taking them on a special camp out. Honestly it has been so long since we had this conversation I can’t even remember all what it included, but I distinctly remember my answer. Because I want YOU to be the Hero. His countenance changed. He got it. In one moment he went from helper to hero and embraced the title.
My husband had been out of town quite a bit when my daughter’s 14th birthday came around this year. Typically big parties aren’t the fare at our house but we have a tradition of sorts to celebrate at their schools. Typically we bring a couple of boxes of ice cream sandwiches and juice on the day of their birthday and interact with their class for 15 minutes of fun. We weren’t quite sure how to transfer this tradition to middle school but we opted for balloons and a few other treats. I gathered everything together, ran to the store, arranged the small gifts, called to get the time of her lunch hour…..basically all the work. And then in the driveway, with five minutes to spare, handed off the birthday bundle to my husband who delivered the fun. This year no questions. This year a team with an understanding of our goal.
She was thrilled. She got to hand out cupcakes to her friends, ten huge packs of chewing gum to fill her backpack with, balloons to tie to her locker as a public display. At one point she gave her daddy a big hug and thank you. “Dad, how did you pull this all together? Everything was perfect!” And without a beat … “Mom did it, right?” She knew that behind the scenes her mom was loving on her too (confirming I wasn’t taking a back seat by giving dad the front.)
As nurturers it is a given we will be there to wipe more tears, bandage more knees, and know more about their lives and their friends and their favorites. So why not give them one of the greatest gifts we can by helping them have the strongest relationship that they can with their father? Let’s yield at times, do “all the work”, and then let Dad be seen as the Hero.
Trust me…. it’s fun!
Philippians 2:3 ~ Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but rather in humility value others above yourselves.