As A Father, I Wonder

I wonder if my son’s current ways of communicating—the quick and long strands of words I can’t understand—is a precursor to some other moment or phase in his life when I won’t understand him.

I wonder if the way I stop and listen to him, even when I have no clue what he’s saying, is an indicator of how well I’ll listen to him for the rest of my life or if it means I’ll squander my ability to listen and get irritated and frustrated with age by what I can’t grasp.

I wonder if my method of repeating the ways words should sound is a way of shutting off his creativity to making new things when new things are words I’ve never heard or words he’s re-written because his life boxes and life lines are still being drawn.

I wonder when it’s right to give him room to wander and when wandering slips and stumbles into something dangerous.

I wonder how long I should give the boy to figure out the red house shoes have gotten smaller because I dried them and they shrank or whether, knowing he’ll get frustrated, explaining it right away is the best course of action.

I wonder if it’s right to almost always have to be the first person to tell him no, because the other folks are so frequent to say the other, and if that’s one of the burdens of fatherhood.

I wonder when the report card for being a father is actually drawn up, how often it’s drawn up, and whether there’s a good way to explain all those missed homework assignments, those half-spoken conversations, and those embodied lessons like hugs and timeouts and raised, fatherly voices and potty training.

I wonder, when I look at my son, when some of my fears started, where they started, and whether God can use that little boy to make me unafraid of things that really are powerless.

I wonder how close I am to what other people do everyday with their children, if I’m near where I should be as a father, or if I’m really far off the mark, nowhere near the target of raising a boy well.

I wonder how in the world single fathers do what they do because I couldn’t imagine being like them, teaching and learning and loving and giving without my wife who does things I wouldn’t even find emotionally plausible.

I wonder, when I say things to Bryce, how my father would sound saying them to me or how he would react to the thing itself, hearing me talk to his grandson.

What about you?  What do you wonder?


  1. I wonder how badly I’ve scarred my children and if I should start a therapy fund in conjunction with their college fund. Just kidding…kind of. 🙂



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