Audrey Rae, Braxton, and Charlotte-
I need to make two things very clear right now.
- I love you guys an indescribable amount. You will never fathom how much I love you until you have kids of your own.
- I need you to leave me alone right now.
Seriously, go away. Go play in your respective rooms. Go watch an episode of Super Why. Go play with your blocks or your Little People or whatever else, but please, at this moment, just don’t do it around me.
It’s been a long day of mixed emotions. I’ve gone through exhaustion, frustration, confusion, concern, stress, anticipation, enjoyment, excitement, accomplishment, and exhaustion again. I was on my feet all morning for church, I came home and rested for a couple of hours, then was on my feet all afternoon for a church event. It’s just been one of those days.
We came home, your mom and I made dinner, and you three…well…you didn’t make things easy. I’ll admit, you weren’t being bad per se, you were being a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a two month old. You bickered, you whined, you cried, and I struggled. I just wanted some peace and quiet but you would not relent. It was like a constant onslaught on my patience.
Are there times when you guys are more well-behaved? Sure. But, as long as I’m being blunt, I have to admit: tonight wasn’t about you, it was about me.
The truth is, tonight, I was having a weak moment.
We all have them. I do, Mom does, and I promise you that you will too. Days that have just been over the top, and by the end of them, even the little things grate on us. This isn’t the first time I’ve had a day like this, nor will it be the last.
This is going to happen again. It certainly won’t be often, but it there will be other instances. At this time in your life, all you likely understand is that “Daddy doesn’t want to play right now”, but in the future, you’ll likely get the point.
In these moments, in my weakness, I need you to go back and look at #1.
I need you to know that, even when my emotions struggle, I will always love you. That is not an overstatement. I need you to know this. I need you to know this because deep in my heart, as I sit, bitterly brooding as you all assault my last nerve, there is a secret that hurts just as much as Charlotte’s screams in my ear.
I am ashamed of myself.
I hate that I get in these moods. As much as I respond to you three harshly in these times, I silently am chastising myself exponentially more than anything I have said to you. The rational side of me is screaming to the exasperation in my brain, “calm down!”
Meanwhile, my exasperation responds, “shut up, rationality.”
It’s going to happen guys, and during these times, I ask you to respond to my foul mood in a way that you may not want to, but honestly will help. Look me in the eye with sympathy and say, “Dad, I’m sorry you’ve had a rough day. I hope you feel better. I love you.” I may not immediately be all smiles, but it’ll certainly diffuse some tension.
And if my eyes seem misty afterward, don’t worry about it. I have something in my eye.
Right now, as I’m finishing this letter, you’re all asleep, and I’m reflecting on this day. I’m sorry for my attitude. I’m sorry I couldn’t get the best of my emotions. I’m sorry that this will inevitably happen again.
But, in the future, I hope you understand, I’m just having a weak moment.
I love you guys.
1 Corinthians 1:4
Christian, husband, father, and pastor. Also a proud and dedicated nerd. One of the dads at TheDadLetters.com and author of TheLivesIHaveLived.wordpress.com.