Parenting is a Team Sport

  • Friday, June 11, 2010
  • Dad, Get Back in the Game!

    It was a major teaching moment seized by the Master instructor!

    "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders. But they have never failed to imitate them!" - James Baldwin (no known relation to our own Jennifer Baldwin who is also not the designer of the pianos bearing her name! :)

    It was 37 ½ years ago. It is one of those moments that is forever burned into the memory. There was no digital video 8 mega-pix record of it. If such a thing would have been available at the time, we could not afford one. It was all we could do to pay the rent ($75 per month...a pretty reasonable price for a converted turkey coup, don't you think?) and keep food on the table for two preschool-aged children. But there is no need for a download record. The image will remain chiseled into my memory for a lifetime. It was a major teaching moment seized by the Master instructor!

    We were in our second winter in the Rockies. It had snowed...and snowed...and then snowed some more. A heavy snow in the foothills outside of Denver is not like a snow in Lincoln, Nebraska! Here it normally snows from north to south. There? It comes straight down. And it stays where it lands. The snow was well over six inches tall on the top of fence posts! But we had mouths to feed and rent to pay. So, though my employment was outside work, house construction exterior trim carpentry, it was not a day for sitting home and admiring creation out the icy window pane. I bundled up in my warmest carpenter's attire and headed out the door. The snow was so deep, I could barely take one step after the other as I trudged across the yard toward the Impala. It was well over my knees!

    About half way to my destination, I turned to wave good-bye to Linda and the kids in the doorway. And that's when the Master instructor scored His point. Four-year-old Robb was following me through the snow. He was not simply plowing through the drifts but he was doing everything he could to lift his snowboots and place them into the imprints which my own boots had left in the snow. He was, step by step, walking in my path. It was a major teaching moment seized by the Master instructor!

    The daunting reality and sobering truth of parenting is simply this: Though our sons and our daughters may frequently fail to understand or even seriously contemplate the lessons we "teach" them by the words that we multiply, they rarely miss an opportunity to imitate us.

    "A righteous man who walks in his integrity, how blessed are his sons after him" - Proverbs 20:7

    Dads, the next steps you take will be living teaching moments. If our sons work hard at walking in our footprints, will we be pleased when they arrive at their destination?

    "My son, if your heart is wise, my own heart also will be glad; and my inmost being will rejoice, when your lips speak what is right" - Proverbs 23:15-16


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