August 5, 2007 12 Comments
Occasionally, I find myself Dad watching.
I look at Dad’s interacting with their kids (or not) and judge their performance. Depending on the kind of day I am having, I can look at the same situation and interpret it in different ways. I try to take everything that is apparent into consideration when forming my opinion. Then there are the unknown factors that play a roll as well. If you are lucky enough to sit next to them in a restaurant or movie, as opposed to a simple breeze by in the mall, you can pretty much figure out the kind of parent they are, regardless of the unknown.
There will be people that will argue the “unknown” factor and tell me “I just don’t understand”. Others will give me a “shame on you for judging”, but here it goes anyway.
Example (the short version):
I’m in a restaurant / a family sits next to me / little girl has no “quiet voice” / Mom yells at her 345,681 times to “be quiet” / girl says “no” half of those times / the other half she just ignores her Mom / the girl orders everything, eats nothing / the Dad sits on his lazy butt and stuffs his face with his Grand Slam / the girl throws things at her parents / everyone in the restaurant wishes them dead / except of course me, being a Christian and all.
So out comes Randy Jackson:
“You know “dawg”, I just aint feeling your Dad vibe. I mean, you know “dawg”, you just didn’t “bring it”. This wasn’t your best performance, my man. Your daughter was a bit “pitchy”, and your wife’s performance rhymed with that. I don’t know, “dawg”, I don’t know. You know? I don’t know. Journey and Mariah Carey.”
“Hi, mystery Dad. You really look nice today. I see that you were kinda sorta having a tough time with your situation and you made the best of it. I have to give you credit for being able to make it through your meal while your wife and child displayed the agony you must go through every day of your life. Next time, I would like to suggest that you maybe prepare a bit more before you attempt another performance. This Dad thing may not be your cup of tea, but I wish you the best. Did I mention that you look nice today?”
“That was deplorable. You are a disgrace to all men, regardless of if they have children or not. I understand that there was little you could do in the situation that you were in, but let me tell you what I saw. The only difference in your “family stance” on any given day must be what is lying in front of you at the moment. Today it was breakfast; tomorrow it will be a newspaper, TV, computer, work, etc. If you are doing anything, it is ineffectual or wrong and possibly doing more harm than good. Your wife is not helping the situation by acting the way she did, but I can only imagine that it is a sign of her frustration because you refuse to step up at home. Your child showing her inconsideration for everyone around her is an indication that she is either starving for your attention or just as uncaring as you are teaching her to be. You obviously have offered nothing further that the fluid it took to get the project started. You are a disgrace. You don’t belong in this competition.”
“Ok America, if you like “Grand Slam Dad”, please phone in at 1-555-DEADBEAT”
Now that I got that out of my system…
All I could think was, “Where is Jesus in this guy’s life?” Then I felt guilty because I thought Jesus was too busy holding me back from backhanding that guy until he woke up, to help him with his family. Maybe my responsibility was not to judge? Maybe it was to pray? Maybe we could all loosen up Christ’s workload by handling situations with a bit more compassion, love, understanding, and forgiveness? Maybe I should apologize to that guy for being a part of the problem, instead of his solution?
I am not sure how I could have been used to help that guy? I’m not sure if that was even my roll at all? I think next time something like that happens I will try to keep my thoughts a bit more Christ-like and see if I can’t be less of a pessamist, and more of a “blessamist”.
Hey Grand Slam Guy! If you’re out there…
May God bless you “dawg”.