Not every Dadventure involves me doing something with, the taking somewhere of, or teaching something to my boys. Don’t get me wrong 90% of them do. I do think, however that when I learn something about myself that teaches me something about myself as a father/husband, I have completed (or am in the process of completing) a special kind of Dadventure.
This is how my knee looked about 2 weeks ago just after I got home from knee surgery to repair the cartilage that I had torn in there. After 5 months of waiting (a whole other story) it was really good to “actually” be on the path to recovery. Shortly after I settled in to my place on the couch I started to make some very good and very interesting realizations. At the end of the day it is all about the little things in life. I know that sounds trite and we have heard it plenty of times. Truth be told I am very likely going to be telling myself this again sometime (probably sooner than I want to admit). My surgery was nothing major and not at all the point of this post. During the past 2 weeks I was faced with things I couldn’t do, temporarily. Here is a short (non-exhaustive) list of the things that I couldn’t do or do without some degree of difficulty:
- Pick up my kids (lift them up)
- Make a meal for myself
- Bathe myself
- Go for a walk
- Go for a ride in a car
- Get up and kiss my wife
Working through that difficulty I found capabilities as well. I spent an afternoon with a less than one year old and did well. I watched 7 kids while 4 moms took a much needed night off. I fixed a screen door, washed dishes, baked bread, and practiced my guitar. These are all things I could do before and things that with a little effort, I could do because I had the desire to.
Now, two weeks later, I’m still not as mobile as I’d like to be, bur I am moving about walking without crutches and doing a lot of the things I was unable to a week ago (just look at that ugly shaved knee). I am glad that I had the chance to appreciate some of the things that come so easily. Especially because before I know it I’ll be back to normal and doing those things with no issue at all. I gained perspective though and perspective is a good thing to have… especially as a parent. Our kids or going to go through rough patches. Learning a new subject, skill, or dealing with an injury and illness. They don’t have the same skill set or life experiences that we do. Our struggles can serve as a guide for them, or at least as a guide for us to help them. Kids will be frustrated at things that don’t come easy, and knowing and understanding that frustration allows us to empathize, which is probably one of the most important thing a parent can do.