Something occurred to me the other night when we were in hour number two of our nightly battle to get my 3-year-old to eat his dinner. And it’s not like we ever serve him anything that he doesn’t already like. Nothing makes you feel like a sketchy parent more than yelling at your kid, “Young man, sit down and finish your corn dog!”
But that’s what we have to do pretty much every night. Dinner time just happens to be the time when he decides he’s going to bow up and exercise his independence.
Some nights we can convince him to eat, some nights we can’t. That’s just the way it goes when you’re a parent (although if anybody out there has figured out how to get your preschooler to consistently eat what you serve him, please shoot me a note — and write a book and make a million dollars).
One thing my son does know by now is that if he doesn’t clean his plate, he doesn’t get any dessert. The thing is, I love giving him dessert. I don’t know anyone who exhibits more joy in receiving an (as in one, singular) M&M. Forget about cookies and candy bars — that stuff is nirvana. I love giving him that joy, and sharing it with him, experiencing it through him.
And it occurred to me that if he ever figures this out, we’ll never fight over dinner again. If he figures out that dad wants to give him good things, loves to, can’t wait to.
But it also occurred to me that we’re in the very same place with God. We fight like maniacs to have our way, and never stop to think that He wants to give us the best, can’t wait to.
Hopefully one day soon my son and I will both figure it out. Then a lot more corn dogs will get finished and a lot more blessings will be passed around.