I'd been going through some old Father's Day cards, all hand-written, all saying how I'm "the BEST dad!" and that I'm loved, and thought...
There's no such thing as a "best" dad -- or mom.
When we carry our babies home, no one hands us a how-to manual. We try, we make mistakes, we stay up nights to comfort and care, we try to chase away their fears.
And as they get older those nights get longer, and we worry and wait for the sounds that ease our own fears... and then we wrap our arms around them, sometimes wiping away their tears.
And sometimes we sit alone and shed our own.
In the end, all we can do is hope and pray that we did our "best," and that it's good enough.
Sometimes we're overwhelmed, our shortcomings get the "best" of us, and we pray for guidance, for forgiveness and hope that nothing we've done can't be undone.
But I'm learning the hard way (is there any other?) that life turns on a dime, and that no amount of prayer and hope -- even love -- can undo some of my mistakes.
Negotiating and balancing life while giving all I love my "best" are the hardest things I've ever done. Some days it feels like an impossibility.
And not a day goes by without my asking, "Can I do this? Am I enough?"
After all these years, I have no answer... though looking back I seem to have come up short far too many times.
As a dad and as a man, I guess the best I can hope for is understanding and forgiveness, trusting that those I love can find a way to appreciate my life -- maybe even love me for it -- and know that every moment of every yesterday, today and tomorrow that God grants they have my "best."
And that it will be enough...
So, Happy Father's Day, my friends. Enjoy your kids, love your fathers -- I miss you, dad, so very much -- and appreciate the blessing.