Sunday afternoon I was performing my normal duties as unpaid taxi driver when something was said that made me stop and realize that not everyone is as old as I am. My daughter, Madison was riding “shotgun” because she is now old enough to do so. She had switched off my “80’s on 8″(for those XM subscribers, you know what I am talking about) and turned on Radio Disney. Atleast that is better than some of the crap she likes to listen to and since my 7 year old Logan was in the car too, I reluctantly approved the music choice. By this point, Logan had already put on his headphones and was watching some random movie I had thrown into the van DVD player earlier that week and was no longer available for conversation. We had finished up with basketball for the day, church was a distant memory for the kids and the two had just finished a couple hours of dance practice…yes on a Sunday. I had turned my attention to making conversation with Madison. This can be a hard task as she is 12 and doesn’t always want to talk to her dad. “How did dance go today?” “Fine” She answers a text. “Are you two getting the hang of it?” “Yes” Another text comes in and she answers that. More questions and same one word answers. I decide I will try again after my favorite Taylor Swift song, “Hey Stephen” comes on. We both start singing and she doesn’t mind my rendition. We have a connection! Yes! After the song ends and both of us are laughing and I decide I need to concentrate on the road…yah right! Some kind of Radio Disney contest comes on and I half listen, but really I am thinking about what I am going to do when I get home. Then the question comes that can turn the tide, how will I handle this? I really want to laugh, but if I do, what will she feel? It is a honest question and I don’t want to embarrass her. I keep my cool and take everything in stride.
“Dad, what does it mean when they say ‘Boys where prohibited’?” Oh, you mean “void where prohibited.” I went on the explain what void meant and what the context of that statement meant in relation to the contest. I was actually surprised that I was able to pull that off without any laughter or kidding involved. Guess I knew how I would have felt if someone had laughed at me for saying something like that.
I think at that moment, I experienced a God moment in my life. He was saying to me that I can’t make assumptions about what my kids know. He was saying to be a father and teacher first and a jokester second. He was saying even though our kids are getting older, they are still kids and we have to treat them as such. Not expect or demand so much. Love them for who they are and not for what we want them to be. Although church had ended hours ago and God wasn’t in the kids minds, at that point, He was in mine!