Examining My Reflection

Dear Lewis,

In the month since you were born your mom hasn’t had any time alone. So, tonight I stepped up to give her what she needed. That’s a lie. I stepped up to get what I wanted.

Tonight, for the first time, you and I went on an adventure all by our selves!

I loaded you, your diaper bag, and my iPod into the car before setting off on our journey. Normally, you fall asleep after being in the car for 10 minutes.

But not tonight.

You were wide-awake the entire time as we explored side streets, alleys and dead ends of Salt Lake. At different stops on our adventure you met a Vietnamese guy, Uncle Loung; a rock-n-roll-redneck-hybrid, Uncle Matt; and Marie, who’s from England. Each person congratulated me, saying how handsome you are.

I felt proud. But, I was proud long before anyone congratulated me.

You made me proud when you smiled as I buckled you into your car seat and said, “We’re going on an adventure!” You made me proud when I looked into the rearview mirror and saw your eyes wide open, intrigued and excited by the unknown. You made me proud when I looked up and saw you smiling as I sang along to Jesse Malin’s Burning the Bowery.

Tonight I saw you for the first time as my son. My son.

You helped me give your mom some much needed alone time. I love taking care of her. Apparently, you do too. We drove new routes and roads on our adventure today because I love exploring new neighborhoods. Apparently, so do you. I love music. Apparently, so do you.

I saw my self, not in your features, but in your actions.

Lewis, when I saw my reflection in your mirror tonight I swelled with pride. Aloud, I shouted, “That’s my son! My boy! My dog!”

I love seeing myself in your actions. I understand that you’re not me. But, I am part of you.

As we drove a sobering thought set in: I’m not perfect, and neither is my example. For every good quality of mine, how many of the bad ones will you get? Would being just like me be a good thing for you?

I realized I’m not worried about you failing me; I’m worried about failing you.

As you grow, as you learn to make decisions for yourself, I pray that if you do act like me, if you do follow my example, you’ll do so only as I follow Christ.

More than I want to see myself reflected in your actions, I pray your actions would reflect those of Jesus. He is perfect. His example is worth following. He will never fail you; but you will fail him. When you do, don’t worry.

His grace is perfect. His love is perfect. And in Him, you are perfect.

Lewis, I hope I live a life that makes you proud to call yourself my son. More importantly, I pray that from an early age you would recognize yourself as God’s son. I love you, but God loves you far more.

Know that He’s always reaching out His arms, shouting, “That’s my son! My boy! My dog!”

– Dad

Who is watching you, looking to you as their example? If your children, your spouse, your friends were to act like you, would your example bring them closer to Christ?

If not, what should you be asking God to help you with for the sake of those who look to you as their example?

Share your story and encourage others by leaving a comment below, or by joining the conversation on Facebook.

2 Comments

  1. Lucie   •  

    What a wonderful gift you are creating for your son.

    • Paulie Godbout Paulie Godbout   •     Author

      Thanks, Lucie. I think I’d be a bad father if I didn’t share with Lewis all the ways he’s changed my life for the better.

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