As a father and recently a new grandfather, I have begun some “score keeping” so to speak. As we celebrated my youngest daughters 9th birthday and look toward my wife and my 12th anniversary, I wonder if my family thinks I am successful. I don’t mean financially or in my career, I mean as a father or as a leader in my home.
Based on my military background I am probably harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. I mean really down deep “In those places we don’t talk about at parties…” do my children really think I am good a being a dad? I bet I could influence those answers by the tasks I asked them to accomplish right before I asked them.
I am sure my boss would object, but only slightly, when I say “being a father is the most important job in my life”. So how am I doing? Is it based on the stuff we have for my kids to play with? Is it based on the last vacation? Is it based on the newest electronic device we have? Is it based on how much fun we have? I think my kids view of me being a success, would be different then my view of being a success.
Do you think your kids would score your success on their report cards? Do you think your kids would score your success on their attendance at church? Is it selfish of me to be concerned about the grade my children would give me?
I find solace in a statement a friend told me once on the golf course, he is a teacher and I have remembered it for years. He said about teaching and his concern about his students, “You have to get comfortable with the fact you are planting a flower you may never see bloom”. I guess that with our children we are planting a garden, that will require a lifetime of cultivation, and we will measure our success on the crop that will be our children as adults.