Thursday, April 28, 2011

On the occasion of Scott's last recital

Last night, I had the pleasure and privilege of attending Scott's last high-school recital. When he came on stage and began playing, I was so impressed with his talent and so proud of him that I knew words would never be enough to communicate the intensity of those feelings. I cannot play a single instrument, so the musical skill that he and Sarah demonstrate always blows me away.

Right before the students began, a teacher came on stage and talked about this country music song. I'm not a country music fan and so was not familiar with it, but because of the night and because he mentioned it, I've put it below.

I know I've blinked way too often. I constantly feel that I have failed my children by being gone too much, working too much when I'm here, and generally just not giving them enough of my time. Now, they're moving on, and my failures are all the more painful.

Walking across the campus where Scott and Sarah each spent fourteen years, I couldn't help but think back when I walked Scott into his first day of pre-kindergarten. A small, thin, blond boy, he was unsure and gripped my hand tightly until the teacher skillfully maneuvered him into the activities of the other kids. I'm pretty darn sure that I was more reluctant to let go of his hand than he was of mine. I stood at the door and watched him until the teacher shooed me away. I was proud of him then, and I've grown more proud of him over the years.

It's easy to say that I did my best, but I know that's not true. I rarely achieve my best, rarely manage to give it to anyone or anything that I care about, and I certainly didn't do as good a job of being a dad as I should have. I can only hope that Scott and Sarah know how much I love them and that I didn't screw up the job of fatherhood too badly.


Michelle said...

Sometimes life interferes with good intentions. From what you have written about your children, it is obvious that they have thrived and are happy individuals. Parents rarely feel like they have given their all and there are always things we regret. We can only do our best and then hope more rubbed off than we imagine. Love makes up for a lot of failings. It really does.

Sarah said...

You are the best dad. Period.

Mark said...

I appreciate you saying that more than you can know.


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