A day to be sad… and grateful

I have no idea what I expect father’s day to be like; but I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t be like this years… 

Our kids woke us up fighting and arguing with each other around 5:30 in the morning.  Stupid things, dumb things, the most ridiculous things that they argue about, so I started my day with a little less than 5 hours of sleep (in truth i kind of dozed in and out from 5:30-7:30, so I may have gotten about 6 hours of sleep).  I don’t function really well on less than 7.5 hours of sleep.  So I’ve been kind of dragging all day, ready to fall asleep, can’t barely keep my eyes open.

I also have such a hard time when being amazed at how American my children are in their safe and comfortable homes, all the food they can eat (and snub their noses at), all the things they have and take for granted. 

I can’t fault my children for having such cushy and safe lives; I’m glad they have them, but I wish, I sure wish that when they sat down to pray for their food, they truly knew how thankful they should be that they had so much to choose from.  I wish they knew how lucky they are to be able to go to the doctors every time their ‘tummy hurts’; and know that they can get the best medicine that civilization has to offer them…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be in a part of the world where I can give my children these things, but, I wish there was someway that they could see how really blessed they are, without them having to go without… it’s funny (ironic) how you really can’t learn appreciation for things you have except to experience their lack…  Perhaps that’s why suffering is so important…

So, I don’t fault my children for all the things they have and take for granted, but as I sat there today, eating my 15 fried clams, watching my wife eat her 13 dollar steak, watching my kids throw out their 8 dollar chicken meals, that they just decided they didn’t want after we ordered them; I was thinking about my son and daughter in Haiti much more than usual.

It’s odd, that while during the day today I was wishing that my children were somehow better behaved, and somehow more wizened in the ways of the suffering people experience in the world, so that they could be more appreciative, I probably should have spent a little bit more time, as a father, enjoying the fact that I am a father, and I do have children to annoy me, wake me up at 5:30 A.M., and fight and argue with each other.

Because all the while, as my tiredness was attributing to my frustration in how my children were acting, I was also missing Christella and Jediah something terrible. 

How can you really have a happy father’s day if all of your children aren’t around to wake you up at 5:30 in the morning, to fight and argue with each other, and to have all the healthy food they could want to eat. 

At the end of the day, I have realized, that I should have been myself more thankful today for the time that i did have with my children that are already living at home, and thank God that by the experience of the lack of having some of my children at home, he helped me realize that I need to appreciate what I do have through the sadness of the experience of what I don’t have.

Hrm… I guess being so tired makes me ramble too…  but, Donovan, Braeden, Bella: Thank you for being my children – even with all of your humanity and child-like naivety, and Christella and Jediah, I miss you guys so much, and look forward to the time when we will all be together.