For the past two nights, I’ve been leaving my Macbook Pro, Machiavelli “Macky” MacMcIntosh, at the office as part of a more concerted effort to spend more time with my wife and kids. It hasn’t been easy – and right now, it’s kind of a fail, because I’m still online, albeit on my wife’s Macbook, haha! – but this is an issue that is very close to my heart.
My dad had me at 46. We didn’t haveÂ a lot of the traditional father-son bonding rituals. There was no camping, no basketball games together, no raw tickling and roughhousing on my bed late at night. We also didn’t get to spend as much time together as I would’ve liked, and I can’t recall him ever checking my homework or helping me study. He had domino nights, dart nights with his friends, and when he was home, he’d spend time reading the newspaper, doing a crossword, watch television. He smoked like a chimney.
We did have great moments. Sunday lunches at Shakey’s. Tickling moments on his rocking chair. Great conversations in the car. I loved my dad, despite my missing out on a lot of the stuff that I would’ve wanted to experience and enjoy as part of a father-son tandem.
I swore to myself that I would spend more time with my kids, especially if I had sons. Lo and behold, I did have a son, Nathan, who is my pride and joy. I look at him and I am overwhelmed by God’s favor, by the knowledge that God saw fit to bless me with the stewardship of a man who would influence nations for Him.
Nathan is now five years old, and I realize that I am slowly sinking into the trap that was my father’s. Nathan and I don’t have the basketball games (or any athletic games for that matter, haha). Instead of newspapers, my face is always buried deep in my computer. We’re very physical – I tickle him a lot, he enjoys it – but I also don’t study with him. Instead of Shakey’s, we go to the Toms World arcade.
It hit me likeÂ a hammer: in terms of quality time spent withÂ my children,Â I was becoming like my dad. And it had to stop.
So I’m leaving my laptop at the office to ensure I spend time with my son. Even now, as I type this, he’s still asleep, but when he awakes, we’re spending this Saturday morning enjoying each other’s company. We’ll play iSpy.Â I’ll work with him on his workbooks for school. Maybe by the end of this month, if time and finances allow for it, a game of Lazer XTreme at Market! Market!
For Nathan to see that God the Father loves him, he has to know in his heart, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that his earthly father loves him too, and wants to set the example by which he can know God’s love. That has to start today. If it means leaving my precious Macky at the office behind lock and key, so be it. It is the least of sacrifices compared to the joy I will reap spending my lifeÂ with my son.