Wednesday night was “curriculum night” at Petr and Andrej’s school. They boys went to my parent’s house and Cammy, Zach and I went to their school to meet and hear from their teachers what they would be learning this year. As part of the evening, both teachers had papers ready for us to write a note to our child to leave in their desk. I was holding Zach in Andrej’s class and he got a little noisy so I ended up doing painful laps around the school building and Cammy wrote the note to Andrej. In Petr’s class, Zach had to be fed so Cammy went out and I wrote the note to Petr. It was not a super deep message, but I did attempt to reveal my heart to him. It felt to me like a significant moment in father-son relations.
The next day after work I got to see the boys at home. I saw Andrej first, so I put my arms around him and asked how his day was. I got a very unemotional “good,” to which I have become accustomed. I asked if he had a note at his desk and he replied he did, but he had not read it yet. “Had not read it?!” I said to myself. Cammy and I have been married for 12 years, but even today, if she were to write me a note, I would read it right away and ignore anything else I had to do. But Andrej is not a big reader so I should not have been shocked.
A little later I saw Petr. I sat close and put my arm around him. I asked him the same two questions. The first one produced the same response as his brother. To the second, he said, “I was confused about who wrote the note. At first I thought it was mom, but then it said, ‘Love Dad.'” I asked a few more probing questions and realized that my message had completely missed the mark. What I thought was a significant moment was nothing more than a small bump in an otherwise mundane day for him.
Before I got too low, I realized this was another teachable moment… for me. My boys were once again a mirror for me to see my own shortcomings in my relationship with my Father. How many times has He set up significant Father-son moments with me, and I just miss it? More than a note, he has given me the bible, the greatest “love letter” ever written. How often do I take it for granted, forgetting the significance of Who wrote it, or why?
I love my boys, and I will continue pouring my heart into them. But thanks be to God that He does not weary or lose patients with us, no matter how many times we blow Him off.