To which I responded, “Sweety… you are trying to get ready… so I’m not going to be mad, even if it’s not happening fast. It’s when you stop focusing and goof off instead of getting ready that I get upset!”
I gave him a hug and helped him with the final details of his school readiness routine.
I realize how often I’ve done this with my own dad.
Out of my love, respect, fear of disappointment… I often begin to despair that I’m disappointing him. I cry, I sulk, I whine… at my own failure, inadequacies, insufficiencies… all the ways I must be a waste of human flesh. Not doing the right things, doing all the wrong things… knowing what’s right and still choosing wrong. Or I do it all right for a long time… scraping by on my own ability to do anything, hoping it pleases him… that I’m exhausted but good.
Good enough for all he’s done for me.
Which I can never be (confession).
There’s no way I can make myself worth the sacrifices my dad has experienced on my behalf.
Yet I try.
Then I fail. And as my brother said recently, want to shout at him, “Well, you’ll have to be okay with that! That’s all I’ve got!”
And he smiles.
Because he’s been my dad a long time.
And there’s nothing about me that ever surprises him.
Then he pulls me in and whispers sweet reminders in my ear… that he chose me (a definite perk of adoption 🙂 )
Chose me knowing that I’m an imperfect human… that I would need a daddy to lean on, to guide me, to teach me.
That in the same way the four little heads I’ve been given make me smile and fill my heart and teary eyes…
He smiles for me.
Smiles that daddy smile when I trip, jump up, and say, “I’m okay!”
Smiles when I get a failing grade… but have learned a greater lesson, albeit painful.
And yes, smiles that loving smile (although it carries tears) when I need a good loving Father’s discipline… because he loves me too much to leave me in my foolish ways… and knows just the perfect touch to bring me back to his side.
My favorite place.
And then I realize that the expectations in my life… are my own. And they are WAY higher than my dad’s.
Because I’m still learning to trust that he loves me. That I don’t have to earn his affection.
He’s walked life out.
He’s seen the challenges, the heart ache, the disappointment… how this whole world is performance-based… and he brought me into it. To be a shelter from the storm.
Just like I try to be for my own children.
Who break my heart when they fear so much of displeasing me that they miss the moments of enjoying me.
I don’t want to miss moments of enjoying my dad by cowering behind my own unmet expectations.
And instead, to curl up on the couch with a hot chocolate and my daddy… and know that I’m doing exactly what he expects… acting human. The human he loves desperately and deeply. The human that can never do anything so wrong that he will finally be surprised or find an end to his love for me.
If you don’t know my dad… I sure hope you get to.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9