Today I Realized I Wasn’t My Son’s Friend

I knew it was coming, but not so soon….

Your kid needs a parent, not a best friend

Believe me when I say I was/am someone who openly advocates for parenting first, even when that calls for making decisions that the child hates. That being said, rubber has met the road and it’s time for me to live up to those words, and it stinks. Today was a day of “No, don’t climb on that; No, don’t touch that; No, come over here; No, go over there.” Today was also the day I first saw my son hold resentment towards me for the numerous No’s of the day.

My son is only a year and a half old, and honestly, wasn’t expecting to be confronted with this experience quite yet. As we were beginning to start our night time routine, I noticed something was off between the two of us. The last six to eight months have been all about “Daa-Dee” and when tonight was met with radio silence, with the included all-time favorite “Sho-wa”, I knew this was it. I totally expected this, but like I stated earlier, not now. I expected this to come when he is five or so and wants the latest iPhone or when he first starts driving and is forced to realize he won’t be driving an Audi S4 for his first car, but the Lord planned differently.

He planned for it to come just after a year and a half of life. The resentment manifested itself in numerous thousand yard stares, multiple calls for mommy and even a little posturing like a young bull preparing to take on his first matador. But as I sit here reflecting on tonight’s shenanigans, I am starting to realize a couple of things.

I am idolizing my son and our relationship. I don’t know how I got here, especially when my wife and I talk so much about not being ‘those’ parents. I see and feel the turmoil of being the disliked parent versus the praised friend. This sounds ridiculous, but that is what makes it ring even more true. My hope in realizing all of this is that I will put our relationship back in it’s proper place. Maybe it takes something like this every now and again to keep us in check….

I can’t help but see how our relationship with God closely parallels tonight’s events as well. Often, we may find ourselves tussling with God about something not going our way or not falling in line with our plan. Much like my son having the plan to climb on the coffee table till I kibosh-ed that notion. But he can’t grasp at this point why I am telling him no, but there will be a time when he will. For us, we can’t truly understand all of why God does what he does or chooses not to do, but there will be a time when we will, when we are called home and the greatest plan of all time is revealed to us. Fortunately, God gave us scripture, which is how he speaks to us and informs us of his character. It is his character that gives us faith and hope in times of darkness and lack of understanding.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…”

– Matthew 6: 24

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