Friday, November 27, 2009

Parent Deficit Disorder

Another favorite from my old blog:

In an office, thirty years in the future, with a thirty something young man on a couch and a pastoral looking guy:

“Is this your first counseling session?”, asks the pastoral looking guy.

“Yes”, replies the young man (who is strikingly handsome like his father).

“Well, why don’t you tell me why you’re here?”

“Well, ever since I graduated from Yale Law, I have been kinda, um, listless.”


“Yes. After I graduated, I spent some time traveling, then organized goat rodeos, then was a meat artist, and now work at Shoneys. I think I have issues.”

“Listless indeed.”

“Yeah. Can you help me?”

“Maybe. Is your dad still alive? Tell me about your dad.”

“Uh-huh. For years wrote this blog under a pseudonym – Uberdog, Innersmog, Outerfrog, something like that. He had a nervous breakdown a few years ago. A lot of times, he just mumbles a lot about needing another Grande Mocha. He just stares into space for hours and with a pained look on his face ask the same questions over and over, ‘How could two toddlers poop in their bath on the same night? How is that possible?’. Its just sad.”

“And your mom?”

“She’s fine. She’s brilliant. Just saw her at Christmas. She loves dad a lot. Buys him a lot of Mochas.”

“Well, I think that I know what is going on.”

“You do?”

“Yes, you have a all the symptoms of ‘PDD’.”


“Yes, you have what is known as Parent Deficit Disorder. You had parents, but they were just not with the programs. Just had a very similar case of PDD this morning. A Harvard grad. Calls himself the ‘Linebacker Starter Kit’.”

“Really? Blonde guy? About 6’1, husky build?”

“Yep. How did you know that?”

“Sounds like my brother…..”


It’s 2008 and parenting is still humbling. We seem to go in and out of seasons where we gain a little confidence only to be confounded by some unforeseen challenge. Some days are better than others. It turns out that “Shepherding Your Child’s Heart” sounds poetic but does not come easily most days.

Ranching My Child’s Brain? Sure.

Coercing My Child’s Bladder? Check.

Driving My Child’s Hiney? Got it.

Shepherding My Child’s Heart? Not nearly enough.

But as I read the Scriptures and see that my sanctification is progressive, that my maturity is gradual, and that my Father is patient, I also have hope. There is hope in the fact that God loves my children more than I ever will. That God uses even my parenting mistakes to accomplish His purposes. That His will for my children is not trumped by my inabilities as a father.

And in the far distant future, as I suck down Mochas and reflect on sad reality of past toddler poop in the bathtub, I will look back and know that God used even my meager parenting skills to achieve His glorious ends.

Thank God that He gives grace to the humble (including parents!).

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