5 Lessons My Son has Taught me

I now understand why Dads wear:
Open toed sandals - They are so breathable
Tennis shoes with jeans - its just comfortable. 
Flip flops and socks - try getting dressed with a crying child. 

There is NOTHING like being a Father. I don’t like crying. I just don’t. Last year on my first Fathers day I couldn’t believe that I was actually a Father.  God trusted me with a human being. It’s amazing.  There are so many thoughts that have passed through my mind over the year.   They range from the comments I have heard as a Father, a black father, being present, pastoring, what being a woman is, and so much more. 

Crazy? Ugh

As I paused to reflect over the year (with my son lying on my chest as I write) There are so many things that He has taught me that I want to share with you. This 1 year old money guzzling tickle monster is wise beyond his year (lol) 

Money Is never an option to enjoy presence

When we I found out that we were pregnant I immediately looked for other jobs.  How can I work overnight, How can I add additional income because I was afraid of the multi-million dollar investment that comes with a child.  As Cam came into the world, he is well on his way to a solid 3 million by 18.  The stark reality for me is, I. Don’t. Care.  “Train up a child the way they should go.” Pause. However presence with him affects his future, no matter how expensive, is a wise investment. When I see money with him as an investment in the gift God has given over spending a whole paycheck, I look forward to spending on him. 

How I say a thing means more than what was actually said

No one likes to be yelled at or physically intimidated. This is especially true for kids. At first I thought I could just be a tyrant.  Tell him to sit down, shut up, go to bed.  I am the boss, he was the subordinate, and because I pay bills, he better obey.  Then I realized the witchcraft I was sending into his life.  I wondered why he didn’t want to sleep near me, play with toys with me, because for him I was the tyrant.  I learned I needed to lead my son the way I wanted to be led as a child.  Parenting teaches the radical grace of Jesus Christ. My tone, vocal inflection, and timing means so much more.  Our play time every day at 5:00 is the best time of my day because when we start cleaning, eating, and sleeping, it means something.  My child loves me enough to create with me! 

Never make your child beg for time

I am a work-a-holic.  I will never be outworked.  Having a child…I will admit there were months where I was outworked. Why? I had a baby who hated my computer screen and phone screen. One day I saw Cam trying to stand while I was writing an Email.  I got so excited I freaked out, closed my computer, and went into a posture of repentance.  My son was teaching himself because his father was more concerned about an email than his development. I was training his heart to want to work instead of being present.  That email can be sent later, that text can be sent later, that phone call really doesn’t matter.  Don’t miss the moment where you are trying to create a moment where you aren’t. 

It’s Better to be embarrassed by His behavior than for him to be worried about mine

I am a Pastor. Everything I do is on front stage to be criticized.  From my tie color, my wife shoes, and my son’s hairstyle.  Everything.  The most frustrated I ever got with him was when they Cam misbehaved in public, primarily in church.  I was so upset. Would I be removed as pastor, What are the members saying about me, what are they saying about my wife.  I was so irritated.  I had to pause and ask myself why his meltdown got under my skin so much. Then it hit me: I’m embarrassed because I’m basing my identity  on what others (may) think about my parenting ability. As a result, when meltdowns happened, I immediately started doing everything that was against training his heart. The best course of action was to see him through the eyes of a loving father, to pick him up, love him and resolve their behavior outside the pressure-packed view of others.

(Side Note - The love of the elders in the church I serve in is so amazing. It really takes a village to raise a child. Every meltdown is met with affirmation. I love my church, our leaders, and our elders. Cam’s first meltdown I cried I thought I was getting voted out. Only to see other fathers surround me to affirm that we have been there.)

We are best friends

My little homie. My little man. My Best Friend. We build fantasy car repair shops with black panther and our dog "scooter" on the daily.  Any day you can catch us jamming out playing our guitar and drums, I can shred Mary had a little lamb. I look forward to being awaken to a gummy smile and laugh. I look forward to grabbing him when he raises his little arms to be with me.  I love when I come home to someone yelling Da-Da. Well, I get two people to say that (bow-chicka-wow-wow) Thats How Cam Got here in the first place.

Thanks for making me a Dad, Cam. 
Thanks for letting me be your Father, Cam
I can’t wait to hate your first girlfriend, pay your college, cry at your graduation, perform your wedding, and more. 

I am not the best dad. But I’m Cam’s Dad. 

To all the Dads, enjoy your day. You deserve it.