Yesterday I went to church with the wife as I do from time to time.
They had a busy morning lined up: 4 baptisms (or dunkings, as they jokingly call them), a spiel on Father's Day, and a picnic afterward. It started out awesome. All the families were there and some proud parents took pics as their kids got submerged in God's holy wash and they were beautiful. They were mostly young daughters.
And then the Father's Day spiel started. The preacher started off talking about the father's duties in the family and I just wanted to crawl under a rock. I had failed as a father in so many ways. My in-laws pretty much stole my fatherhood and undermined it whenever they could - but it was me that let them do it. And here I was, in a house of God, on Father's Day, with fine strapping young men and beautiful wives raising beautiful daughters and sons that would make them proud - and I thought about my own daughter ... and I just couldn't take it. I fled. I didn't belong there.
I went home and grabbed my friends and went to Dawg Island for a long slow walk. I wasn't worried too much about my wife; she understands the score and knows the ins-and-outs of it. But the people at the chapel? I hope none of them noticed. I love the people there, they are real Christians all the way through and my wife is too. Usually when the subject of my daughter or my in laws come up I start raging and foaming at the mouth but not this time. Lately it's just become a fact of life - 'get over it already' I tell myself. Everyone has baggage these days.
After I got back from Dawg Island with a couple panting hot dogs, I talked it out with the wife and she thinks I have a place in their chapel while I am not so sure. All I knew was that I didn't belong there yesterday and I knew it with a certainty that is hard to describe. Maybe God was talking to me, who knows.
Hold your kids close. Don't ever let them go, and don't let anyone get between you.