Yesterday I shouted at my daughter in such a way that I am ashamed to admit it. I had certainly fallen off my high horse of feeling like a good parent (again). But I also felt like getting off the horse of “good parenting” altogether, both hating myself for getting it wrong and thinking I’ll just never get it right. I felt like spending less time with my kids so that I won’t hurt them, so that I will make less of a mess of their lives. But the point of my “What Adam Was Doing Right” reflection rang in my head. “No, I need to do just the opposite: Spend more time so that I can fail more…and hopefully put the failures further and further apart…until I get better at parenting.”
There’s really no good alternative, if you think about it. If I spend less time with them in order to hurt them less, I hurt them more…through neglect. If I spend more time, the failures are inevitable.
Presented with the choice in this way, I choose the courageous action of being “on the horse” rather than the cowardly retreat of getting off of the horse altogether in order to avoid failure at all costs. I think the key is to place hopeful trust in Christ to build virtue into me through very small baby steps.
Recent Posts in this Series
A Tale of Two Gifts (Christmas Letter + Extras)
My “Don’t Be Like Me” Story(s) – Lest We Get Cocky
What Adam Was Doing Right
When You Fall Off Your High Horse, Don’t Get Off the Horse Altogether (this post)
On Scribbles and False Ideas: Are They Beautiful?