Thanks to my kids for making me the dad I am today

It’s pretty typical on Fathers’ Day for us kids to tell our fathers thanks for making us the people we are today. Same as with moms on Mothers’ Day. But I’d like to turn that around today and thank my kids for making me the father that I am. I wouldn’t be who I am today without Emett, Lydia, Josiah, and Matthias.

Before my kids were born, I only had ideas about parenting. Dumb ones. And I take this opportunity to apologize to all of the parents I judged before having kids of my own. I realize now that you were figuring it out as you went along just as I have been doing the last 18 years.

Emett was just two weeks old when I carried him on a walk through the Endowment Land woods in Vancouver, BC. I found a spot where the trees arched above me like a cathedral. There, I stopped and prayed:

“Lord, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m only two weeks into this and I’m already overwhelmed. You’re going to have to make me a different kind of person to be able to do this.”

He did. He made me a father.

That doesn’t mean I do the parenting thing perfectly. Heavens, no!

I’m as flawed as they come. But in the midst of my tenacious selfishness, my kids keep giving me opportunities to act unselfishly.

Who but Emett could teach me how to sing in the middle of the night when everyone else (without infants) is sleeping?

Who but Lydia Grace could teach me to catch vomit on myself intentionally?

Who but Josiah could teach me listen attentively to obscure details about topics I previously had no interest in at all?

Who but Matthias could teach me to love listening to the same piano piece played at least 20 times a day for months on end?

These are not things that come to me naturally. But they have come. My children have taught me. There is more to me today because of them.

I love you, my children. Thank you for teaching me love.

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