I have never been fond of accessories. I don’t carry a “man bag” or whatever they call it these days. Watches drive me crazy. In all honesty having that chain, band, etc wrapped around my wrist feels like I am suffocating. Speaking of suffocating, I cannot wear a necklace either. I can hardly stand to wear a tie, I certainly don’t want something else draped around my neck. And much to my wife’s disappointment, I have a hard time wearing my wedding band. I am not ashamed of being married to her. It is just having something that isn’t a part of me constricting my finger drive me crazy. For the most part I don’t have a problem with other people enjoying them. If my wife wants to wear earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces, etc., more power to her.
This week I was reminded of one accessory that does bother me. It bothers me more than any other. I was reminded that some people view their children as an accessory. So that you can understand what I mean by that, let me first explain what an accessory is. Webster’s defines it as an object or device not essential in itself but adding to the beauty, convenience or effectiveness of something else. I am firmly convinced that there are people in the world that believe their children exist to benefit their own status in a community, situation, etc. And it saddens me deeply.
My children are not here to enhance my beauty. Yes, I have four children. But, I have never thought for one instance that my wife and I appear to be better parents that others because we have children. I have never thought that I was a better person because I have kids and others do not. This might sound a bit “extreme” but there are TV shows and movies that make light of those that do. These “jokes” wouldn’t exist if there was not at least some truth to have some people view their children’s “enhancement” of their own personal beauty.
My children are not here to make my life more convenient. I know that sounds weird. Anyone with four kids can attest to the fact that what is convenient goes right out the window. However, if we consider what is convenient is nothing more than making some easier, more accessible, etc there are certainly situations where this happens. For instance, I love football. At one time, my dream was to play in the NFL. I wanted to be that guy crushing the dreams of others as I run over running backs, quarterbacks and hitting wide receivers do hard they wouldn’t dare run their route into my zone. I wanted to be the most feared middle linebacker in the NFL. Obviously, that didn’t work out. For many fathers (and mothers) the live vicariously through their children. It is more “convenient” to have your children chase your dream rather than giving up on your dream. I remember talking to one girl in high school that hated being a pitcher. (She was good, she was really good). She told me how hard she trained, how often she trained. She also told me she wished that he father didn’t push her so hard. It got me thinking, whose dream was it for her to be the best pitcher in the state? Was it her dream or her fathers. Based upon the games I have attended through the years, there are a lot of dads out there trying to either relive their glory days (or to pretend they actually had them) through their sons. While one of my boys dreams of playing in the NFL. I will let that be his dream. He is his own person, and I refuse to let him be my accessory.
My children are not here to make me more effective. This is the actually instance that prompted the writing of this article. I have seen divorce happen far too often among people my age. I have seen people married with children use their children to get back at their spouses. While I realize that I cannot know way judge the intentions of the hearts of others, their actions make me wonder if they are doing what they are doing to their own kids because it makes hurting the ex that much easier. As a preacher I have heard it said that the best way to assure I don’t lose my job is to make certain people get attached to my kids. My kids are not an accessory to make me more effective at keeping my job!
My kids need much more attention that an accessory that can be tossed aside at the end of the day. I hope your kids aren’t either.