I’ve been reading John Sower’s Fatherless Generation which has gotten me thinking a lot about fathers and sons. Something that I’ve been thinking about is how much I enjoy my sons being … my sons. Here’s what the last few weeks have looked like for me:
1. There is a district wide emphasis on writing in my sons’ school system. My oldest told me that his teacher wanted my help in teaching the kids writing. So I said I could come in that Friday. Well, he told his teacher that I was looking to volunteer in their classroom. Well, of course, she wants all of the interested parents she can get. So I get to class and once we figure out what my son has been up to, we have a conversation about writing in front of the class. It was a huge hit. So much so that the teacher of my youngest wanted me to do the same in their class. As fun as those experiences were, the chief image I took home with me was how my sons both sat near me, beaming at me (without being too obvious that they were beaming, after all, they are two too cool for dad pre-teens), proud to be my sons and proud to call me dad.
2. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been teaching them how to play Magic: The Gathering. They got free cards at GenCon. They see me and my co-editor, Jerry Gordon, play every week have Dark Faith editorial meetings. They see me go off to guys’ night every couple of weeks. They want to be able to beat Uncle Brian at next year’s Mo*Con. And they want to be able to play with me. So we practiced with a few starter decks and they’ve now graduated to building their own decks.
The other night I had sent them off to bed and as I’m wont to do, I went back to peek in on them through the hole in their door (long story, but the managed to break their door handle. FTR, this is completely unrelated to me showing them how to pick locks). I stood there just enjoying them being who they were. Boys taking after their father, getting to know him by sharing the stuff he’s into. But more than that, just enjoying and loving them being … them.
And I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s how the Father sees us. Children created in His image whom He loves and enjoys simply for who they are. With the same longing of the Father, I want my sons to know me and have a relationship with me. To be close to me. To be able to reach out and not only know where I am, but have my attention. I want to be present and real in their lives. No father-shaped hole in their lives. That they are loved, sure of who they are, with the confidence, and support to live into who they are and who/what they were created to be.
Addendum: As of 3:45 p.m. of this writing, I find that they are a lot less delightful when they are fighting with one another, requiring me to separate them. I wonder if the Father also thinks that life would be easier if they just got along, how it takes more effort to fight and be mean to one another, and that not every argument should end with them calling each other “a big turd.”