This past Friday I had the privilege of serving as a Watch DOG at my daughter’s elementary school. Before I go any further let me explain that D.O.G.S. is nothing more than an acronym for Dads Of Great Students. Yeah, I know that it is cheesy but isn’t just about any acronym? Anyhow, back to the point, I spent this day trying to be of some help to the faculty. Sometimes that help meant carrying supplies to the art teacher. Other times it meant taking a child for a walk to help him calm down before making some bad choices. But my favorite thing of the day was sitting at a lunch table with my daughter in kindergarten and having lunch with her and a few of her friends. I got to laugh with them and talk with them – much to the dismay of the lady in charge of the lunch room. Apparently, I was not being the best example. On the off chance that she is reading this blog – I’m sorry. The most amazing thing about the entire day was the privilege of entering my daughter’s world and being a part of it even if only for a few hours.
I don’t know about you, but all too often I find myself thinking that I know the lives of my children. I take for granted that I can understand the pressures and difficult choices that they face. After all I am an adult and I deal with real problems everyday. On Friday, I found myself thanking God for the opportunity to understand how little I really understand. Parents, I hate to break this to you but you and I are more out of touch than we realize. We don’t know the pressures that exist in our children’s lives. I know you are probably thinking, “Your daughter is in kindergarten! What pressures does she have?” That is what I thought too. But you see, I got to see how my daughter handled being bullied. I got to see how my daughter handled a needy friend. I got to see my daughter focus on something by blocking out all the voices around her. Now please understand I have no illusions that my daughter is perfect, but what I saw gave me great hope. I saw a little girl who is confident. I saw a little girl who cared for everyone – regardless of their popularity. I saw a little girl who was learning to focus on one thing and let the voices around her fade away, which gives me great hope that one day she will be able to focus on Jesus and let all the other junk fade away as well. I saw a little girl who spent the entire day bragging to everyone that her daddy was at her school. Honestly, it was a relatively insignificant commitment to me. I usually have Friday’s off and I have the flexibility in my schedule to make changes occasionally. But that one day taught me so very much and meant more to my daughter than I could have ever imagined. Now I must confess that there were so many days that I could have been up there, but I chose to rest, or work ahead on some project, or whatever. Parents, you know that our kids grow up so incredibly fast. My prayer for you and for me is that God grants us the grace and wisdom to redeem the time we have to make the greatest impact on our children that we possibly can because all too soon the time will be over and the day will be gone.