Fatherly Guilt

I am a father...I hope a good one. I think I am, but sometimes I get a guilty feeling in my heart that tells me I haven't done enough.

Today I got home around 4:45pm, which isn't bad. Upon arrival, Alicia and I spent some time debriefing our day while Sam was still napping and Timothy was happy playing in his room. That was nice because I've always wanted to give Alicia some time just for her each day, but it hardly ever works out right. Today was a nice exception to the rule.

Samantha came down first, and we wrestled around a little. She can be such a tomboy sometimes, at least until an ant crosses her path. Seriously, the girl falls apart! Anyway, we played like kids on a school playground for awhile and then Timothy finally came down.

After engaging in small talk, I asked Timothy if he'd like to go play Mario Kart for a little bit. I think this was a mistake. The truth is, I like video games, particularly Mario Kart (as far as Wii games go). So we played, and played, and I felt good for a little bit. After all, I had spent some good, quality time with all three members of my family.

That is until I put the kids down for bed. I felt a pain in my heart that wouldn't go away by telling myself that I had spent time with my wife and kids. No, something was wrong, and it wasn't until Timothy came down for a drink of water that I realized what it was: I hadn't really spent quality time with him at all. I had let video games ruin it.

I decided to fix that, to make video games only be a part of our life together, not the bulk of it, but at that moment, I realized I needed to do something for Timothy. So I went back upstairs with him to his room after his drink of water, tucked him back in to bed, and asked him if I could pray. Then I just prayed over him, asking God to show him the love of Jesus and to let Timothy know how much I loved him.

As a navy family, we speak in nautical terms sometimes, and to finish my prayer, I said, "God, please help Timothy know that I love him more than my ship...more than 10 ships!" Timothy hugged me tight and laughed. It took too long, but I finally made his day. As I turned to leave, he said, "Dad, I love you more than 100 boats!"

And he made my day too.


Alicia said...

Oh, you didn't even tell me! I'm convicted now, too, to spend some quality time with our kids today.

Katey said...

That prayer was very sweet!!! I'm sure you both are wonderful parents!!!

Stephanie Kay said...

Very sweet!!!

Mark n Misti said...

What a great testimony to all parents. I too stopped playing alot of video games with my kids, and try to spend more "face to face" time with them. I have 5 kids and am the sole bread winner in my family.....so it is rough sometimes, but we make it work! Great job!

The Navy Christian said...

Mark, my man, you have quite the life! I'm glad you're focused on your job of raising kids. I think that's great. I need to read more of your blog to find out how you do that, because honestly I'm just about worn out with the two kids we have. Anyway, more power to you my brother! And blessing to Misti! She deserves them!

Mark n Misti said...

You know, I have not really written that much about raising the kids....that is a good idea of some things to add to the blog. Drop me a line anytime!