My family and I have been on vacation in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the past three days. It has been a nice stretch of beach activity and touristy type of things. We have spent an afternoon on an island that could only be reached by ferry (Ocracoke Island), visited the Lost Colony of Roanoke and climbed to the top of Bodie Lighthouse. In between all of these adventures has been numerous trips to the beach that lies within our view directly across the road from our house.
I full intend to share more about those trips but my focus for now is in a life lesson that my son taught me about two hours ago. First off, this is my little man. His name is Caleb and he is four years old going on fifteen.
I had been jumping in and out of waves with my daughter and two of the boys in my house for about an hour. All the while, I was keeping a close eye on my son, who was digging in the sand about twenty feet away from where we were. At one point, I went up to check on him and he was digging a hole that kept getting filled back up by the waves. I patted him on the head, told him that I loved him and started back out towards the waves. I felt a little hand reach around and latch on to my leg so I stopped. Caleb wrapped both of his arms around my legs and prepared himself for the next wave to come in.
It occurred to me, at that point, that he was secure where he was. He was safe. Holding on to my leg didn’t keep the water out of his face when the next wave hit but I didn’t move so neither did he.
What a strong lesson that is for us fathers. Life will be tough for our children. There are going to be a lot of strong waves that will hit them and toss them about. It is our responsibility to keep ourselves anchored in this life to provide them with security. Not every parent gets this. We work with a lot of kids who do not have grounded parents. They do not get that security in life that every child deserves to have.
I can’t do much about the other parents in the world. I wish I could but the simple truth is that there are a lot of crappy parents out there and that will always be the case. However, for my part, I can and will sink my feet firm and hold fast through the storms that come. My wife and my children deserve that much. I encourage you all to do the same. Our children count on it.
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