Sometimes It's Hard to Be a Dad
Yesterday morning was still a bit stormy when I left to go sneak in a quick workout. These days, if I can get a 10 to 15 workout in, I'm a lucky man. I can easily go weeks without getting to the gym. There's always something pressing. There's always something so urgent.
As I was driving down the driveway, I saw the hot tape to our main pasture was flopping in the wind. I got out, snapped a picture and posted it to our Ag group on chat. I then went to go look for the spare hot tape. As I got to the white garage, where we keep all of our tools and supplies, I see Ariel scoot by on the four wheeler, dressed in a tank top and the world's biggest grin, as she says, "I've got it!" She doesn't even know what the problem is and so I continue my search for the hot tape. Some day she'll understand that not everything is just so simple.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any spare tape in the garage; so I got back in the Bronco to head to Tractor Supply to buy some more. Then comes Ariel again to confess she's underestimated the task at hand. I tell her, "Hop in. Let's go to Tractor Supply together." "What for?", she responds. I tell her, "I've got to go get more hot tape to fix the fence." "It's fixed. I just tied the two ends together.", she responds like it's nothing.
Earlier in the week, as I had just put out an update to our employees, Ariel responded to my post in what seemed like seconds. She has this habit of doing that, followed by the world's most super Christian comment. My 17 year old can be just a tad bit intimidating for just about anyone around. I promise, I get a lot of proud Dad moments from her. At the moment, this was not necessarily one of them. I was a little worried she was going to shut the other employees down. And I really wanted for them to open up and to feel it was okay to be vulnerable. So, her mom and I went to go talk to her as I deleted her comment.
As we're with her and I'm listening to Janae do most of the talking, I listened to Ariel talk about when Jesus multiplied the fish and the bread to feed the masses. As she continued to talk faster than my ears could absorb the words, I walked over and held her tightly, and then kissed her on the head. I had a feeling I was about to get in trouble for stepping in and potentially contradicting my wife. I was a little slow to respond, but still managed to find a way.
"In all of the previous droughts we have had, it has never occurred to me to ask God to multiply the loaves or fish. I've asked him to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think; but that incident has never come to mind. Thank you, Sweetie! Thank you for teaching me that! Sometimes, your mom and I just need the faith of a child. And right now, the whole company needs your faith. Please, if you don't mind, would you re-post your comment and share this with everyone?" I really didn't know what else to say or do. My daughter said it all so well.
In so many ways, this was a really hard week to be a dad. I'm sure there were many more ways I was shown up. At least it wasn't on the Jiu Jitsu mats this time. It's pretty expected that she's going to humble a grown man whenever she steps onto them. I think this is how we're supposed to prepare our kids. I know this, I was nothing like Ariel when I was 17 or 20 or 30 or even 40. I am so very proud to be her dad. At the same time, I am also so worried that she never stops believing that everything is possible.