Parenting in and of itself can be a daunting responsibility. You find yourself responsible for another living human being. To make matters more complicated and stressful you not only have to keep them alive but also have to “form” them into a respectful individual. One that will obey legal and social norms that you deem acceptable. Many times I find myself wondering if I am even coming close to hitting the mark or making the grade then then it happens . . . the perfect golf shot!
What do I mean by the perfect golf shot you may be asking? For anyone that has played golf, you can relate to the fact that it can be an equally frustrating game, just like parenting. There is technique in how you swing the golf club just as there is technique in how you talk with your kids. Many times you swing thinking the golf ball will go straight and instead it goes to the left, right, or just skips along the fairway in front of you. Frustrating as it can be, when you hit the golf ball just right and it lands but a few feet away from the hole your faith in your ability to play the game is instantly renewed and ahead you charge with newly found motivation and dedication to the game.
Such is the life of a parent. Take mine for example. Just yesterday my co-parent and I (under a newly found truce) agreed to deviate from our schedule so that I could meet a work obligation. We coordinated for the kids to be with their mother from noon until about 6pm so that I could go into the office and attend some meetings. When I picked up the kids at 6pm, our youngest daughter was in tears and not wanting to leave her mothers house. Eventually, she got in the car and slowly came back to me in the form of speaking and her behavior changed. At night when it was just her and I and I was putting her to bed I asked if she wanted to talk about what happened and reassured her that I knew how tough it must be and that both myself and her mother love her and that by talking about things we can help each other help the other.
She laid in bed looking at me and almost instantly declined my request just shutting her eyes and going to sleep. *Insert dagger through heart here* My heart felt and ache, a pain that never becomes any easier to deal with. I felt completely shut out, helpless and unable to comfort my daughter as I wanted to. Feeling totally rejected, I laid next to her for a new minutes with my eyes open just starring down at the comforter wondering what I was going to do. I looked up to see her looking at me and she placed her hand on my cheek and said those four words that always make me forget about all the pain and world around us. “I love you daddy.” Here was I thinking I was supposed to be comforting her and yet it was happening the other way around.
In the end, I know I am not perfect, I know I make my mistakes, but just when I feel like a complete failure, that perfect golf shot always brings me back for me.