:thank you daddy:

you know, i never EVER comprehended what this phrase means, or the impact it could have on a father. let me give some background information.

over the last few months, we've been trying to teach our 2 yr old proper manners. it's really difficult to explain to a toddler to wait for something that he wants. i was going to write 'desperately' want, but at that age everything is desperate. in fact, i observe ethan to be overly dramatic, and janice likes to point out that he is truly my son. anyways, it's called "delayed gratification", and is a very important skill to develop if a person is going to function in society. other than trying to teach ethan delayed gratification, we have epic battles over the two phrases, "please" and "thank you".

most of the time we literally have to hold him back from a toy or food and then wait until some semblance of please or thank you comes out his mouth. the point is that he learns that if and when he desires something he needs to ask politely for it.

when we are holding our 2 year old back, and some yummy snack is being held in front of his face and he's forced to say "thank you daddy", it's nice. you know? it's really cute. you kinda smile, pat him on the head and then you give him whatever he asks for. after that you smile and then you think, "one day he'll get it", but you give the snack anyways. there's joy in the knowledge that my son is on his way, albeit slowly.

today was a different story.

it was a very chill day at home, and so ethan bumbled over to me while i was in kitchen and he clearly wanted a drink. he was looking and point at something and i realized that he hadn't drunk anything in hours. thinking i'll give him a nice drink, i decided to get him some juice instead of his normal water. i heavily diluted some OJ, put the lid on his sippie cup, and sent him on his way.

as he walked away he looked at me at smiled and said "thank you Daddy". clear as day, and walked away chugging away the juice.

i can not accurately explain to you the feeling of joy, happiness and pride that swelled up in my heart when my son, unprovoked, said thank you. and not because he had to because he wanted some juice, he clearly said it because he was thankful for the drink that i made for him.

he walked away smiling. i walked away almost crying.

the impact of this simple phrase of gratitude, arguably just thrown away from the giver, had a much more profound impact on the receiver. and after some reflection, the giver of the gratitude will not be able to fathom the impact on the receive. especially when that receiver is the givers' father.

today, i've received such strong insight into a fraction of the joy that our God, the Father, receives whenever we just say to him with a genuine heart....

"thank you"

i can not remember the last time i have ever said to God, thank you, without a desire to ask God for something selfish. today, God used my son to remind me that saying thank you to Father God is something that is necessary as a follower, but it can give our God such joy. the true joy of seeing his creation honor Him.

i mean this was a pretty heavy revelation considering this occurred after church and i went all service without actually saying 'thank you' to God. and yet, in my kitchen, given my son watered down juice, God reminded me of my manners. not just to get what I want, but to give joy to my God.

and also, to anyone who still reads this blog...

"thank you."


munfung said…
thank you for sharing :)

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