We were sitting on the cold, metal bleachers. The sun, not remembering its job to bring May flowers, had been darting in and out of the clouds, while we were gently splashed with rain. We were cold, we were shivering, but we parents continued to cheer.
"Good job, Jon, nice hit."
"Great throw, Spencer!"
"It wasn't your pitch."
"C'mon, don't swing at junk."
"Nice pitch, Anthony."
"Base hit, ball four."
"Way to go, buddy!"
The chatter is almost constant, while the parents encourage the failures and cheer the successes of our boys. The drone of love, support, and sometimes disappointment is like the post office, never hindered by rain nor sleet. This year our dedication has really been tested with unusually cold and rainy spring weather.
Tonight, while shivering in his woolen winter coat and his daughter's pink striped stocking hat, my husband turned to me and joked, "Ya' know what? Kids never cheer on their parents." He talked about how we, as parents, through their entire lives, cheer them on with their accomplishments.
"But, nobody yells, 'Yea, Dad! Thanks for going to work today!' when I come home from work. Nobody yells, 'Mom, you're awesome, thanks for doing dishes!'"
I thought about it. Part of that is because we don't do anything outside of parenting. This is what we do right now. We parent. We don't have time for sports, or hobbies, or anything that encourages spectator participation.
In fact, when I am finally doing something on my own, like writing or sewing or reading, I'm really not desiring someone to lean over my shoulder and chant, "Good job Mom, nice straight seam!" or "Way to go mom, just read two more chapters and you're done with your book!"
Parents may not get or need the chanting and cheering, but they do need the love, support and appreciation.
But, I thought about his statement and challenged myself to review how I'm teaching my kids to support their Daddy. While the kids aren't as loud as we baseball parents are, I do teach my kids a few "cheers" for their Daddy.
"Thanks for the new __________, Daddy!"
I need my kids to understand that Daddy works very hard for the family's money. He's usually working when we are shopping. I even like to joke that "it's his job to make the money and it's my job to spend it." But, I appreciate his hard work and I have taught the kids to thank him for every purchase.
"Yea, Daddy's home!"
When the kids were younger, I always made a big deal about Daddy coming home from work. We greeted him joyously and let him know how glad we were glad to see him. The greeting was usually followed by a few minutes of peace for Daddy so he could unwind before dinner. He needed to recharge his batteries before taking on the day's events and issues for all seven of us.
"How did your day go, Daddy?"
Daddy is good to ask about everyone else and keep tabs of their school, their friends, their trials and their sports. We need to give Daddy that same attention and the opportunity to share the wins and losses of the day.
"Does your foot hurt, Daddy?"
Because of a fall years back, Scott has nerve damage on the right side of his body. When he is tired and has been standing a lot, his foot tingles and hurts. The kids have learned to watch his body language for when he is achy and give him a foot massage.
"I'm praying for you, Daddy."
We pray for Daddy to be wise at work, church and home. He impacts a lot of people and needs wisdom in the Word and in his work. We pray for his safety in the commute. We pray for his testimony. We pray for the decisions he needs to make. We pray for his preaching the Word of God and for his service as an elder.
"Did you know you have a wonderful Daddy!?!"
I personally try to cheer on Daddy by not speaking poorly of him in front of the kids or anybody else. Our goal is to be a united front, supporting one another in front of the kids, and talking out our differences respectfully and away from the kids. I try to build him up and not let Satan deceive the kids about their Dad. If satan can get a tiny wedge of doubt about the spiritual head of the household, he can do a disastrous work in the life of a child. They need to be reassured that Daddy does know and understand, Daddy does care and his decisions are from the Lord. If Daddy says no, the Lord is saying no, and that needs to be taken with love and respect.
Scott's teasing comment tonight renewed my desire to teach my kids to love and honor him in the home.
If these things don't fulfill that desire to be cheered for, I could always go out and buy the kids matching pom-poms for their Yea! Daddy's Home From Work! greeting.