A father and son: Two different morning routines


My son went about his normal routine. He got a quick shower and got dressed without a care in the world, like it was just a regular school day.

I stubbed my toe and felt on edge.

My son made himself some coffee and grabbed a bagel for breakfast. When he had eaten the bagel and still felt hungry, he downed a Kellegg’s Brown Sugar Cinnamon PopTart.  You wouldn’t have expected anything was out of the ordinary. By contrast, I had little to no appetite and forced myself to down a small piece of toast.

hands-407388_1280My son finished up the rest of his routine like a pokey puppy. He was in the bathroom, he was out of the bathroom. He went upstairs, back downstairs, all without much purpose. I was so fidgety I dropped my car keys three times and kept thinking I forgot my cell phone, only to “find it” in my hands the whole time.

Get the picture? A crazy, bizarre morning.

If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought that I was the one getting ready to take the SATs, the standardized test that helps colleges and universities decide admissions, and not him. We’ll know in a few weeks how my son did on the test. He’s excited about getting the test results, but you would never know by watching his expression. Me? I’ll think about his test scores regularly until we get the results sent to him via email.

We’ve been through this process before, but I find anymore that I worry more for my children and their own challenges than I do for my own work challenges. I can control those or, at least, generally manage them. As parents, however, we can’t control what our children face. The best we can do is to set them on the right path and let whatever happens happens.

Unfortunately, we’re not always built that way. It’s foreign for us. We want to jump in and fix the problem.

The best I could do for my son was get him to the test on time, wish him well, and say a prayer that he put his best foot forward. I take assurance in knowing that he’s a good kid and tried his best.

However, I still find the whole experience odd. When I was younger, I had a different image of the role I would be playing. I assumed I would be able to take on a more decisive role. In reality, my role is as a glorified cheerleader, knowing when to and when not to step in with a few words of encouragement. 

In the end, I’m counting on divine support to help me get through these next few years: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

And with that I drove-off to work, ready to face the rest of the day and the next test.

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