He woke up at the crack of dawn. It was his birthday, but he was the one who would throw the surprise. Walking out to the car, he took a deep breath and sighed. The road before him was long and the day would be both stressful and tiring, but this was worth it. It was for his son.
After several hours in the car, he arrived. He whispered a prayer that this would go well and walked into the room, head held high.
The room wasn’t an ordinary room. It was a courtroom. This morning his son was being arraigned for crimes he had committed the weekend before. A party animal gone too far. A night of “fun” that got out of control.
Someone was hurt, and his son was being held responsible.
He had warned his son that someday he’d no longer be able to bail him out. Warning after warning had gone ignored.
But he came anyway. He walked straight to his son and embraced him. He didn’t yell, didn’t scold, and didn’t criticize. He just was. He loved.
A single tear ran down the son’s eye. And with it, his heart melted. He hadn’t expected his father to be there. He thought he was on his own now. He had been warned.
The walls came down. The distance narrowed. And reconciliation began. Nineteen years of rebellion washed away with that tear. For the first time the son understood love.
Because his Dad showed up.
You can parent, discipline, coach, and teach, but sometimes it won’t get through. It’s about being present when your son hits rock bottom. It’s about holding your daughter when her heart is ripped apart.
Love conquers all. Being present shows you’re serious.