To Love And To Lead Is To Serve: No Thank You’s Required

2 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

It was three years ago today (April 13, 2010) that I announced Mommy and I were having a baby when I wrote my very first daddy blog post, called “She’s Having A Baby.”

For the past three years, I have written to you at least once a week, but usually at least 6 days a week.

Not only have you changed a lot, so have I; both of us for the better.

As I have watched you transform from a “baked potato” of a baby into a monster truck loving little boy, I think about how specifically I have been forced to change and mature as a person.

Here’s the answer: I have learned to love and lead better as a dad; and therefore, I have learned to serve better.

Specifically, I have learned to stop expecting to be thanked or acknowledged for the sacrifices it takes to be an involved parent.

Because, honestly, I’m not special in those regards. I simply experience what most parents in America experience.

Being a parent is a thankless job. So what. That’s not news.

That used to matter to me- being thanked. Perhaps the greatest stride I took in my maturity growth as a parent was the day I stopped expecting confirmation that I’m a good parent.

To remain focused on that is to give too much power to other people and to set myself up for disappointment when I don’t get what I was hoping for in my own mind.

I learned to shake those expectations. I get it now:

Doing the dishes. Changing diapers. Telling you I love you everyday.  Getting up in the middle of the night when you randomly wake up and singing “Yellow Submarine” to you to help you get back to sleep.

And so it goes for every other menial task as I do as a parent and spouse.

It probably comes down to this anyway: The most important things I do in life, and that I am best at doing, are the things for which I’m not regularly thanked.

Serving is loving and leading. I get that now… no thank you’s required.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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    On April 21, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    [...] In several of my letters to you, I’ve made mention to you that simply by being a parent, I have become a more mature person. [...]

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