My son is graduating high school this weekend. He is the youngest of our three children. He was very active in school performing in theater, marching band, symphonic band, steel band, rubber band, lap band, band-aid…ok, I made up the last three.
His older sisters were active in school, too—very active. They had their fair share of concerts, softball games, basketball games, and track meets. All three of our kids kept their mom and me going. Their mom did a much better job than I attending all of their stuff. I didn’t make it to everything, but I made it my business to make sure I was frequently in the crowd. Frequently! We endured cold nights at football games. The blazing sun wore us out at softball games and track meets. Riding the school buses as chaperones was a trip. Pun intended. But, part of my vision for raising my family was to make sure they could not say, “Dad was never there.”
Building careers and families simultaneously can be very challenging. I know how difficult it can be to break away from a very demanding schedule to attend recitals, concerts, plays, or to chaperone field trips. I also know that most of us claim that what matters most to us is family, but our schedules and habits oftentimes say otherwise. Overcome the challenges of balancing work with family and be there for the ones you love. Whether it is your son’s baseball game, your daughter’s recital, or your partner’s surgery, do not allow your schedule to keep you from supporting important events in people’s lives. Be there!
Be there for the ones you love. And, let them see you’re glad to be there. Let them see it on your face. As for the kids, let them hear you commend…well…commend something! Trust me. I know how awful some of those concerts and football games can be. Have you ever attended an event for your kid where the team was lousy, the band sounded horrible, and the food at the concession stand was the worst ever? Those are the times where the most positive thing you can say is something like, “Hey, we had great weather.” But, find something commendable and articulate it. Don’t assume they know how you feel. Express something positive to encourage them.
I was active in school, especially in the band. I was drum major for my high school marching band for two years. My parents never attended a game. But, when I started preaching, my parents drove hundreds of miles several times to support me. I remember the time they drove through a dangerous Michigan snowstorm to come hear me preach. It meant a lot. I’ll cherish the memories of their faces in the congregation as long as I live. They were there. So, on behalf of the people who would appreciate you breaking away from your very busy schedule and would cherish your presence at the events that mean a lot to them, be there!