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Watch Me

Aug 29, 2022

“Watch me. Watch me, dad!”

Last week, Trisha and I took the boys on a four day vacation to Florida.

Three boys in three different stages of life. Each with a desire to be seen.

Watch me ride these waves.

Watch me walk on my hands under water.

Watch me catch this jelly fish.

Watch me do a flip over the wave.

Watch how long I can hold my breath.

Watch me do a cannon ball.

Watch me.

They say the same thing at home that they said in Florida. But so often, even though I’m there, I’m not watching. I’m watching my phone or my computer or the TV.

I see them, but I’m not watching them.

It is easy for me to confuse seeing with watching. It is easy for me to confuse presents with presence. It is easy for me to confuse providing with abiding. It is easy for me to give tangible gifts: clothes, shoes, phones, lunch money, X-Box games…and withhold what they need the most…my presence.

One thing I’m watching these days is the clock. 1095 is the number I see today. Tomorrow it will be 1094…then 1093. It is the number of days I have until our oldest son graduates high school.

“Watch me, dad.”

Watch me drive.

Watch me date.

Watch me graduate.

Watch me go to college.

Watch me become an adult.

Presence is much more precious than presents. The truth about me is that I usually offer presents when I feel guilty that I haven’t given presence.

Our friendships, marriages, relationships with our kids all grow out of presence, not presents.

Watch.

Don’t just see your friend, watch them.

Don’t just see your wife, watch her.

Don’t just see your child, watch them.

Your presence is needed today much more than you realize.