Sometimes, we’re the last to take our own medicine.
I remember when I was a seminary student in Cleveland, TN, working at the Cracker Barrel. I’d get relationship advice from folks who’d torched multiple marriages (women and men).
The advice was actually really good and insightful. I was in seminary, so I could recognize good advice. 🙂
Anyway, they knew things. But they didn’t execute the things. Know what I mean?
Well, I’m trying to look for opportunities to take my own medicine and listen to my own advice.
My recent posts about teaching your children to communicate and exasperating your kids have been convicting. I’m not sure how much space I’ve been giving for quality time. I’ve been in the same room. I’ve not been a workaholic, but cares and concerns and general adulting can take our presence away from our presence.
So yesterday, I decided I’d take the little ones to the pool after work. We’d grill hot dogs and I’d goof off with them in the pool. Simple. Not earth-shattering. But awesome, as it turns out.
We raced and played four corners (that old game you used to play in grade school when there was 8 minutes left in the class and the teacher was over it) and I threw them around to the best of my ability. They’re getting bigger and I’m getting older.
We ate hot dogs and discussed the impending new chore/allowance system and the give-save-live principle by which we expect them to handle their money. We saw a tiny bug carting away a humongous dead spider. I’m still a little disturbed. Didn’t know they made spiders like that in the suburbs of Atlanta.
I stayed later than I wanted to because I ended up wanting to. They went to bed pretty quickly, too.
Yes, I admit this wasn’t a feat of parenting greatness. It was just a dad doing what a dad is supposed to do. Yet it seemed to mean a lot. We don’t have to make grand gestures. We have to look for small opportunities and take ’em.
The lesson – if there is one – is to look for cracks in the schedule and do a little unexpected thing here and there.
A second lesson is that if you’ve been dishing out advice, check to see if you’re just spouting theory or if you’re sharing what’s actually working for you. Take your own medicine. See if it works.