He whined a little and had that, “I’m scared, make it all better!” thing going on. It was pretty cute really. Kind of a “welcome to manhood” moment.
So I did what any loving dad would do……I made light of it. I started cheering him on and emphasized that scars were cool. After that, I pulled out my phone and took some pictures. His grimace slowly became a grin.
After the drama subsided, I was able share some of my own bloody knee stories. I told him about the different scars that I’ve collected and the accidents that caused them. He thought that was pretty cool and the pain/fear suddenly became a distant memory. We were both now a part of the “scar club.”
My son felt comforted by the fact that I’ve experienced pain too. That I’m human. That I understand.
My boys want and need a dad who shows them his scars too. I think all kids want that. It opens avenues of trust.
You see, if our only role in a child’s life is that of power, a disconnect happens. The transparency is lost and the door of communication remains slightly cracked at best.
My goal as a dad is to provide freedom. Freedom to fail, freedom to hurt, freedom to be independent, freedom to choose, freedom to approach me with anything, anytime, anywhere……because I love my kids. Period.
Within that freedom also lies boundaries and discipline. There’s a fine balance there….one that will take me a lifetime to figure out, story by story, scrape by scrape. By God’s grace only.
My son acquired a cool scar that day. I acquired a full heart as we bonded over cool stuff like blood and dirt.