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It's Not Babysitting!
It's Not Babysitting When They're Your Kids!
I remember when I first married Gail and became the father of a two little children; Anna age 5 and Caden Age 1. I decided to go to Giant and do some grocery shopping. Gail was pregnant with Corey at the time and was sick. So I took the kids with me. As I loaded them into one of the "Car" shopping carts I was approached by an older woman who said, "Oh! You're babysitting?" For which I responded,"No. I'm just taking my kids grocery shopping." For which she responded, "Well you're very brave."
Yes I was brave. But not for the reason she was thinking. I was brave because I was coming into a little girl's life. I was the intrusion into her comfortable life. I, on the other hand was trying not be my Dad and failing miserablly. I don't blame my Dad for the way things were. It was just the way things had to be. He was a divorced father trying to see his kids whenever he could and being a firefighter on rotating 12 hour shifts that wasn't easy. Which is why I cherish those Saturday morning trips to the market that we would take.
Growing up I never thought that my Dad was really there for me. He wasn't there for me during the Boy Scout Jamboree when we were demonstrating to our parents the catapult we built. He wasn't there when I needed advice about bullies. He wasn't there when I needed help with girls. His not being there is what I had always attributed to my faithlessness growing up. If my earthly father wouldn't be there for me why would my Heavenly father be there for me? So I started to grow in the thinking that I didn't need either one of them. I would come to know my Heavenly Father when I got older and know that He would always be there for me....
I can remember that rainy March night as if it were just last night. Racing down Route 30 trying to get home. I had needed my Dad more than anything at that moment. I am eternally thankful that he was home that night. I needed that calmness in his voice that I can't seem to get the hang of. The love I felt in the way he said "Son" that kept me from going faster then the 80 mph I was already going down Bull Road.
After that night I began to recall all the times thagt he was there for me. The time I caught my first flounder. For all the bowling, soccer , baseball games he could attend. Shot my first buck. He took me to my first football game. When I cried myself to sleep when our dog Jesse died. He tried to teach me to drive a stick-shift, which was a lost cause. My high school graduation. My wedding. He would always be there for me. Just like my Heavenly Father He was just a call away.
I used to think he was failing as a dad and that I should've heard older women saying ,"Oh! You're babysitting" to him. But I'm the one failing. All this time I've been trying to avoid being my Dad I should be more like him. Taking every available moment with them that I can. Because there will come a time very soon where they will stop asking me to play with them. When that time comes I will be wishing that I had spent more time with them.