Here it is. The start of summer. The start of not having to work. The start of what should be a wonderful time.
But I’m partially dreading it, because at my house it’s also the start of this:
“I’m boooooooorrrrrred.” “What can we do todaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy?” Which then turns into kids fighting, sniping, arguing, complaining, etc. And I hate to say it, but I start to think, “How much longer ‘til I get to go back to work?”
I have to admit, I’m ashamed of this line of thinking. I mean, I love my children, don’t get me wrong. I have three kids: Justin (10), Katelyn (8), and Carley (almost 5). They are wonderful, adorable children who are a pleasure to be with. I just wish I could love them without having to listen to “Can we go to McDonald’s for lunch (or breakfast, or dinner)?” twenty times.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking one of two things. You’re thinking, “Wow. That sounds EXACTLY like my family.” Or you may be thinking, “Wow. That father needs to get his priorities straight.”
True. I do. I need to spend more time enjoying my children and the time I have with them. I know I only have so much time to enjoy them. I can focus on the fighting over the TV, arguing about who hit who first, complaining that there’s “nothing to do” and all the other small things that drive me nuts. Or, I can enjoy the insights and craziness of a four year old, an eight year old who is arranging a family talent show so she can do 20 (at last count) different acts, a ten year old who is so thoughtful and plays with his sisters, baseball games, soccer games, board games with the family, reading together, nighttime hugs, kids who want to play with me and the many other joys of fatherhood. These are the things that make having children so worth it.
I know that my time with them is short; that childhood is fleeting and that, before I know it, they’ll be gone. That in a few years, when they’re (shudder) teenagers, I’ll long for the problems I think I have now.
And so my friends, although another summer starts and I dread some of it, I will choose to ignore those admittedly little things that drive me crazy and pay attention to the greater things that make me love my children. Besides, before I know it, my children will be grown and gone with kids of their own and I’ll be able to laugh, when I hear my grandkids say to their parents,