So my 3 year old jumps into bed with me at 6something in morning. The plan was to “sleep in” to 8, because my 8 year old’s soccer game was later than usual. So Joel starts kicking, and pushing on me. It’s in just the right interval that I’m not quite back to sleep, but I’m still awake. I’m not awake enough to have him move, or move him back to his bed. Finally he stops, but by then I’m awake but am mentally unable to get out of bed. Then the alarm goes off.
The boys get ready, eat breakfast, and they’re playing well together. Joel was very high maintenance during breakfast. Now he wants to play Battleship. The complicated kind. Not the simple one from my childhood that resembles two laptops facing off. No, there’s assembly required for the new one. I don’t want to play. I just don’t. I don’t want to set this thing up, play for two or three turns and have him want to do something else.
This is a test of my manhood. A test of my fatherhood. A test of self control. What I really want to do is vaporize him with my eyes. Do I have the strength to contain myself?
I did. I do. A quick prayer.
We set up Battleship. Graeme is helping little brother. We play a turn each. Then Joel knocks the game off the coffee table. Did I say he’s 3?
I said a longer prayer this time.
I open My eyes and look at the clock. It’s time to go to Graeme’s game.
These days or seasons never come in convenient timing. We’re never rested or prepared. Lets face it, this one was trivial. It really didn’t feel trivial at the time. Its a reminder to me that we have to respond to people rather than react. Breath, pray, then respond to life experiences.
Switching perspectives: How many times to we change our mind on God. How many times have we committed to something, then bailed.
The most important thing in God’s eyes, and our sons and daughters, is being willing to play. Making things that are important to them worthy of your time. Loving even though you know the outcome. And the outcome means more out-pouring for you and anything in return.
“Yes Joel, I’ll play Battleship with you.”