The power of thank you

by Rod Smith

When Nathanael turned eleven I saw very clearly the power that comes in a good, honest, appropriate, thank you. 

Having gone a little over-the-top for his big day, we were exhausted. But, the day had finally ended and the last of the guest-children was out of my hair and my sons were in their rooms and almost asleep and I was sitting downstairs taking stock of a full, satisfying day when I heard the birthday boy – each boy has very distinctive sound trails – coming down the stairs. 

Ever so quietly, almost sheepishly, he put his head around the door.

“Thanks, Dad,” he said, “thanks for an awesome day.”

We hugged. 

My heart burst. 

While I have diligently taught my children to express gratitude, I was not waiting to be thanked. I had simply done what dads do for their children’s birthdays. 

His acknowledgement hit something deeply within me. 

While it became very obvious that I needed my eleven-year-old son’s recognition for a job well done, something deeper was going on within me. 

I knew what it was. 

He, at 11, had done what I was unable to do until I was very, very much older: acknowledge my dad, look him in the eye, throw my arms around him and express my thanks to him for all he had done.

One Comment to “The power of thank you”

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