My young daughter would still label me as the world's greatest dad. She has her ways of telling me and showing me. She elevates me to that pedestal with every spontaneous hug and with the giggles that we share. However, I fully realize that I am totally undeserving of the award, that ultimate honor. In my mind and in my heart, I am not sure that I will ever get it right, or even good enough.
I am a very deeply flawed person, but I am constantly trying to work on myself, to buttress the sagging, damaged walls. However, I am a hapless juggler with far too many balls in the air. I frequently tend to mishandle them, and one by one they fall to the floor. Such are the many times that I have dropped moments with my daughter.
What about the many times that I have snapped at her when I am frustrated or anxious or worried? The occasions where I have pushed to get her into bed early because I am too tired to deal with her? The countless times that I have sacrificed our far too limited time together to watching hour after hour of television because I can't think of anything to do or anywhere to go? Too often I do not make life into the special adventure it could be. Each time I give in to laziness or confusion or frustration, more balls seem to drop. It's terrifying to me because the course of our relational journey together becomes hardened. Set in stone. More and more difficult to adjust and to set right.
My mistakes and approach has led our relationship to be much shallower than it should be. Too often we fall into patterns of communication that gloss over or omit wide swathes of our lives. "How was school today?" ... "Fine", "Did you have a good time at your friend's house?" ... "Yes", "What did you do this weekend?" ... "Nothing much", "Things didn't work out like you hoped. You want to talk about it?" ... "I'm alright". How can you learn to talk about the important things in life when you can't talk about the everyday things? How can you handle the big when you are not equipped for the small?
World's greatest dad? Not yet, I am quite sure of that. What I am sure of is that I have a full measure of capacity. I still have time to learn to be a better juggler.