Just a little over a week ago was Father's Day. (Seriously? Then why the hell is my Hai Karate jug still on empty?)
And this Father's Day, as most Father's Days, I found myself questioning my adequacy as a father.
I went to church and it didn't get any better. Pastor Doug spoke pretty passionately about all the things a good father is and all the things a good father does. He quoted scripture and he wove in some great anecdotes and, with every word, I was more convinced that I have completely missed the boat on this fatherhood thing.
Then they played this video.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hWyd4G_MBE]
Now I know Trevor a little bit and he's a wonderful guy. I really respect him. So, if you believe me when I tell you what a good guy Trevor is today, and you know the frame of mind I was in (see paragraphs above), then you would assume that this video would have sent me over the edge and left me wallowing in a depressing soup of guilt and parental inadequacy.
Actually though, I went a different direction with it. I'm not sure how or when during this video I shifted my point of view, but at some point I quit thinking about myself as a father and started thinking about my own father.
Every point Trevor would make, I would tick off on a mental tally sheet. "Nope. That doesn't sound like my dad." Pretty soon, that mental tally sheet was looking pretty messy.
And that's what made me feel better. See, Trevor has his criteria for what constitutes a great dad. And Doug has his. And the Bible has its take as well.
But none of them know my dad. My dad's grumpy. And he used profanity when I was young. And sometimes he would get frustrated (with Mom, or Christine, or the dog, or whatever) and raise his voice. He's pretty smart, but he certainly doesn't know everything (though you really can't tell him that). He wasn't always absolutely consistent in his discipline.
And through it all, he's been awesome. He had prepackaged little bits of wisdom that I never thought were applicable. He would try and tell stories from "when he was my age" and I never related to any of them in the least. But through all my eye rolling, I totally loved him (even at the time) for trying. I loved that he was in there swinging and doing his best.
Those are the things I catch myself doing. And those are the eye rolls I get. So maybe, just maybe, I'm not doing so badly after all?