Sometimes what you think your kids think about you is completely wrong.
I was preparing a presentation at home a few nights ago for several hours. This wasn’t a normal presentation, it was a really important one. It concerned the future of my employment in sort of a loose way. If I blew it, there would be no immediate consequences. Yet, it would present our business in a less than positive light and could ultimately lead to me and most of my employees getting the boot. The pressure of the employees future concerned me most. So this was pretty big.
In addition to preparation, I prayed about it often with the minimum hope that I could deliver it with confidence and not pass out or projectile vomit on my audience.
My youngest daughter, now all of fourteen years, came in to say goodnight. She asked what I was doing.
“Getting ready for an important presentation on Thursday.”
“Is this for your work?” she asked
“Yes, it is sort of important so I’m going over it until I know it really good. Kinda like you do with your routines. You guys practice those what, a million times?” I said as if she needed me to relate it to her life to get the enormity of this thing.
“Well, don’t worry. You’re a good talker. You’ll do good.”
I told her ‘thank you’ and gave her a big hug. She didn’t mean it as a pep talk, she simply meant it. I’m not sure exactly whether being a “good talker” is actually a compliment (I would normally lean toward NO), but in her world it probably would be.
All this time, I thought my kids considered me just a dorky dad who dresses funny, lectures way too much and falls asleep on the couch a lot. Little did I know that they thought I had a talent. As simple as it sounds, being a good talker is probably pretty accurate. While I’d be talking in a structured format, it was still just talking. If I treated it as such, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Actually, maybe it would be at least…dare I say it…. average.
I also realized that this type of response or encouragement from her comes pretty naturally. My wife and I encourage the kids in everything they do. Not unlike most parents, we are always telling them the can when they think the can’t. Well, within reason mind you. She was just repeating something that she has heard all her life. Sort of makes me think I haven’t messed up this parenting thing after all.
Oh, and that presentation..she was right; I did good.
Rest in Peace, Run in Grace.