My 6-year-old daughter decided to make a list for my birthday. Her spelling:
4. Rapping papr.
I would add #8: One Happy Daddy. This note comes a few weeks after she gave me a threatening note demanding a kitten. "Daddy, please, please, please can I have a kitty? If you do not give me a kitty, I will not listen to you." I responded to her letter with a note of my own: "I do not negotiate with terrorists." Some believe in a childhood "age of innocence." I tend to believe in original sin.
The next day, she wrote me another note: "Daddy, you are the best daddy ever of all time." All of this reminds me of the ups and downs of being "a sinner and a saint at the same time." And it reminds me of the many threatening letters and words spoken by the children of Israel throughout Scripture. And the Father's patient hand throughout.
So I'll settle on the fact that for all of parenthood's challenges, joy transcends.