Just for Dads ~ August 2020
In the summer of 1992, Shania Twain released a music video that would change my life. The #1 video, “What Made You Say That,” featuring a young Shania Twain was daily viewed by me and my friends at the condominium on the Texas coast where we worked. We had a master key, a list of unrented condominiums, and a daily 9:30 am appointment with Country Music Television countdown. The other day a moment occurred when I had the shocking realization that I had grown much older and was not as young as I use to be. While watching the movie, I Still Believe, I saw a different vision of the Shania Twain I remembered. She was playing the character of a mom to an adult child, which to me was incomprehensible. I realized reality does not always match the story in your memories.
Change is continually happening around us, but we sometimes need help to recognize it. Sometimes we are slow to recognize that change is happening and worse at adapting to it. I had a moment recently that reminded me how important it is to adapt to change. At the swimming pool, my wife, out of concern, pointed out that my shoulder, which has undergone multiple surgeries, was atrophying. (In my mind, I am still the young man who could win bench press competitions at the gym, but the truth is it has been over twenty years and five surgeries since I was that guy.) Some of us are still remembering and living through the “good ole’ days,” as represented in our Facebook posts.
These past several months our children have had to adapt to countless changes, unforeseen scenarios, national crises, and more bad news. How do we measure or know if our kids are able to adapt? As we help our kids adjust to change, remember they can feel our stress. We should remove unneeded distractions when possible and promote healthy relationships that include play, exercise, spiritual, and mental refreshing. It’s also good to listen to our kids’ conversations with other kids to pick up cues on how they are feeling. Keeping the perspective that God is in control and that others have been through difficult situations and thrived through change is a great practice for us dads—not to mention a great example for our kids.