Where are we going?
I’ve heard (and answered) that question once or twice (or, 97% of the time we load up in the car), but this time it wasn’t my kids asking. That thought flashed through my mind as I was reading a book about creating a healthy family. Reflection a moment further led to a torrent of additional thoughts and questions…
What am I working towards with our family? What do I want the culture of our family to be like? How am I contributing to that? Or, (ouch) how am actually working against this goal? How would the kids describe our family?
In many ways, dadcraft began out of a desire to have better answers to those questions. Because sustained proactivity is difficult. Because the general busyness of life can subtly flip our priorities. Because being a good father demands dynamic thinking. Because it’s easy to spend the majority of our time emphasizing things that aren’t of greatest importance.
Where do we need to grow? What do we need to learn? Who can help us?
I’ve thought recently about where we struggle in our family. Could those struggles become opportunities for us to encourage and challenge one another? What if growth was an adventure we tackled together just as fiercely as a long hike or a difficult puzzle? What if our collective bravery combated an individual’s fear of failure?
When I dream about an empty house filling once again with my adult kids, what does that look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like?
Currently, life with the kids is sidewalk chalk. Lower back pain from jumping on a trampoline. Reading Lewis, Rowling, White, Willems, and Suess before bed. A bench outside of ballet class. Vacuuming up a full meal (in month-old, crumb-size nuggets) inside the van. Apologies and lessons that have to be taught over and over again…to child and dad alike.
In the midst of all these things, I can lose sight of where we’re going. I can get distracted and confused and lost.
Where are we going?
I need to spend some time figuring out and, in some cases, remembering the answers to this question. True dadcraft isn’t just cramming activities into your schedule. It’s meaning, significance, and direction. It equips you and me for the journey that our families are taking. It’s part of the vehicle that gets you to where you’re going.
And so, the questions swirling in my mind ended in a series of challenges: Don’t skimp on intentionality. Don’t coast. Don’t forget where you’re headed.
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Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash