Todd Wilson had another thought-provoking and convicting topic in his recent newsletter. Sadly, even after all that we’ve been through, there are times when my heart just isn’t into some things with my children. Below is the full text of his newsletter (Todd grants permission to freely copy and distribute his newsletter in whole or in part. You can sign up to receive the “Familyman Weekly” at www.familymanweb.com.):
Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend with your family. Besides a lot of rain and gray days, we had fun at my in-law’s lake cottage. Although the bad weather kept everyone in, it did make for a lot of game playing. I’m not normally the game playing type…but I’m trying.
One highlight was when the kids weren’t inside, they stood out in the drizzle fishing for the elusive giant carp…or buggle-mouth bass as they’re affectionately known. The kids made poles out of sticks and 50 pound test line, attached a hook and some bread and waited until…BAM!!!!!
Finally, the sun showed its face on Labor Day and right before lunch the question came from my daughter, “Dad, will you take us tubing?” I knew it would come, and I knew that it would be coming at me because the day before, my Brother-in-law took the bullet and hit the lake in a boat loaded down with at least 150 kids.
I signed. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” my daughter said to her bum of a dad.
“Well, I don’t want to…but I will,” I said dragging my comfortable carcass out of the comfortable chair.
So we loaded up the boat with kids, life jackets, tubes, and one begrudging-dad. I tried to act happy and goofy, but I know my daughter knew I was begrudging and told my wife so.
Oh, they all had fun, but I know I lessened it for my daughter because my heart wasn’t in it. Sadly, I do that too often. I say, “Yes” but I let them all know that I’m begrudging, miserable, and that I don’t like them for asking me to do ‘it.’ What a crummy dad.
Here’s the deal, Dad, sometimes you do it too and your kids know it. They don’t want you to say yes and then begrudge. They want you to say yes and enjoy. You know what? We can do that, too. But it doesn’t always come naturally.
So, my fellow begrudging dad, when they ask you to do something…tonight, say, yes and then enjoy it.
You make me proud,
PS – Begrudge – Definition: To give reluctantly or resentfully. (Yep, that’s me.)