Continuing to reflect on the movie Courageous that I watched Saturday night, I’ll share one partial lesson. I intend to write a longer blog post for my son’s blog in the weeks ahead on the subject of “What I Would Do Different” as a parent if I had the luxury of a second chance. For now, I’ll share a glimpse of that stream of thought.
Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched the movie Courageous and intend to, then skip the next paragraph.
In the movie, a father declines to dance with his young girl in a public park out of embarrassment that someone might see them. Shortly afterward, the young girl is tragically killed in a car wreck. The first words that came to my mind at that point speaking as the father were “I should’ve danced with her.” Of course, it wasn’t long before the grieving father voiced that sentiment.
We don’t have the luxury of a redo in raising our kids. All parents do some things very well and have others things they wish they had done better. It’s pointless to beat ourselves up over the past. Lessons like this one are more likely to be instructive to other young parents who still have time to make adjustments in their parenting.
When I think back to raising my boys, several wishes come to mind. I wish I had played more with them. I wish I had said “yes” more when there was no real harm in doing so. Saying “no” was more of a convenience to me and, therefore, selfish. I wish I understood more at the time about becoming and being Christian and that I had taught that better in word and in deed. I wish I was slower to anger, even in their disobedience which angered me more than anything. I wish I never punished in anger.
It won’t take long to come up with a longer list and the reasons for each item in the list, but that’s for a different post. Do you want to know what the overriding regret is that I have? It may seem silly, but it’s leap year lesson #301 – I should’ve taken them fishing more often.