Thursday, February 7, 2013

To a Parent, Love is Spelled U-N-C-O-N-D-I-T-I-O-N-A-L

**Dad - "I wasted the day fishing with Jimmy ..."

**Jimmy - "Went fishing with Dad. It was the best day of my life ..."

My heart ached and I got a lump in my throat when I heard those words ("To a Child, Love is Spelled T-I-M-E"), in a way I know that I have been guilty of being 'that dad' (aka: mom).

How many times have I bided my time, doing something that was of little interest to me ... for the sake of one of my children?
  • Listening to them go on and on about the levels of a video game they are attempting to challenge
  • Reading the same book every night (for what feels like the bazillionth time)
  • Endless hours at the playground
  • Kid's movies and programs that I felt like I have sat through (almost as many times as I have read the above mentioned books)
  • Sitting through a Christmas concert featuring the entire school ... just to see my child on stage for two minutes
Then again ... how many times have our children thought similar thoughts as we wade through both the mundane and spectacular events throughout their childhood?
  • Hours in a car spent driving to a special vacation destination
  • Putting up with our many 'life lessons' as we go on and on about some issue that they would really rather forget
  • Endless hours waiting for a special occasion that they have been looking forward to
  • Parent/Teacher/Student conferences and the sermons that follow
As parents, we must remember to let ourselves off of the hook some of those times when time feels like it is standing still. Our kids have many more of those moments than we do. We tend to remember those times because (a lot of those times) our kids are quite vocal in expressing their discontentment.

Somewhere in between are those moments of absolutely mutual enjoyment. Those moments in time within the frustrations.
  • The elation you see in your child's eyes when they break through new boundaries
  • The comfort and ease each of you share in those familiar routines that wind down our days
  • The mutual admiration and joy you both feel when you see your child shine in that school performance
  • Those family Kodak moments within those once-in-a-lifetime vacations
  • The pride we feel as a parent when we see that a lifetime of life-lessons has made a difference within our child
It is those 'fly on a wall' moments that (as a parent) make my heart sing. Those moments when you get to sit back and watch your child be who you have raised them to be. Moments when they don't know you are watching, when they echo the words and lessons that you have hoped they are listening to.
  • Children at play, when they have no idea that an adult is watching
  • Children echoing your words ... and you are pleased with what they sound like on someone else's tongue
  • Watching your children grow into the adults that they were destined to be
Parenthood is fraught with moments of frustration, joy, sorrow, pride, disenchantment, elation and everything else that spells L-O-V-E.

That is what parental love is. Parental love is spelt U-N-C-O-N-D-I-T-I-O-N-A-L. I think that our children know this. Is that why they test us so??

**"To a Child, Love is Spelled T-I-M-E" video by www.

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